Governance | Ambitious about Autism
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The Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust Board of Trustees has overall responsibility for the governance of the Trust. It consists of individuals who have the skills, competencies and perspective we need to govern the organisation.

Neil Goulden, Chair

Neil had a highly successful 40 year career in the Leisure and Hospitality industry. Since 2014 he has followed a portfolio career focussed on his keen interest in promoting Social Justice through equal opportunities in Health, Housing and Education. He is Chair of Clarion Housing, the UK's largest Housing Association, Chair at Nottingham Trent University and Chair of the Finance Committee at healthcare charity Sue Ryder, in addition to his work with Ambitious about Autism.

Appointed 28 September 2015

Lesley Longstone, Vice-Chair

Lesley has many years' experience at very senior levels in the public sector, both in the UK and overseas. She has been a member of the Department for Education Board, initially as Director General with responsibility for young people, working with the Home Office, Ministry of Justice, police and Youth Justice Board to deliver positive outcomes for young people. She then moved on to lead the change programme that among other things, saw the successful delivery of the Academies programme. Lesley's career before then included several years working for the Employment Service, an arms-length body of the Department for Employment. She spent time working in New Zealand as the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education.

Appointed 1 April 2017

Elizabeth Stanton, Chair of FRC and Treasurer

Elizabeth is a retired EY partner. She graduated in Mathematics before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. Elizabeth was an audit partner with EY on a wide range of FTSE listed clients. She has lead IPOs, bid/defence work and large fraud investigations. She also held various management roles including being responsible for Risk Management in the assurance practice for the UK and Ireland. She is a Governor of Cranleigh School where she is chair of the Finance Committee and a trustee and the treasurer of the Alde & Ore Estuary Trust.

Appointed 1 April 2017

Koral Anderson

Koral is passionate on the subject of allowing all people to reach their full potential. In her executive career, Koral is currently Chief Security Officer and has previously been a Managing Director within Group Technology and Operations at Deutsche Bank. Koral has spent over 18 years in financial services across a variety of different countries, businesses and functions. Prior to financial services, Koral worked for engineering and construction companies. Koral graduated with a MA(h) in Accounts and Economics, is a Chartered Management Accountant and a fellow of the UK Securities Institute.

Appointed December 2019

Michael Clark

Michael is a solicitor and Senior Legal Counsel at TalkTalk. Before this Michael spent over 10 years in national and international private practice advising businesses on a wide variety of matters, giving him a wide breadth of experience to draw upon. Michael was Vice-Chair of his local primary school board of governors. As a parent of a child of Autism Michael understands the challenges that still exist in seeing that all children have access to the opportunities they need to learn and thrive. When he has a free moment he is either lost in a good book or out trail running (slowly).

Appointed October 2019

Tanith Dodge

Tanith is an HR executive with a strong consumer background in international organisations. She was previously Group Human Resources Director at Value Retail, having joined in May 2016 from Marks & Spencer Group plc where she ran the global HR for 80,000 employees in 53 countries. Before joining Marks & Spencer Group plc, Tanith was Group Human Resources Director at WH Smith, where she also held responsibility for Public Relations, Communications and Post Office Operations. Prior to this, she was Senior Vice President Human Resources for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at InterContinental Hotels Group. Tanith has also held senior HR roles at Diageo plc and Prudential Corporation plc. Since 1 January 2019, Tanith is a Non-executive Director at Robert Walters and of Busy Bees.
Appointed October 2019

Joanna Healey

Joanna was part of the initial proposer group for The Rise School. Joanna is a corporate lawyer and is also a Trustee of The Foundation Years Trust. She is also involved in various outreach projects in East London.

Appointed 23 November 2015

Jolanta Lasota

Jolanta is currently Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism and the Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust as well as the Accounting Officer for the Trust. She also Chairs the Autism Education Trust, a not-for-profit programme funded by the Department for Education to improve educational access, experience and outcomes for children and young people with autism. Her career includes Director roles in national voluntary sector organisations, including I CAN (which ran three non-maintained special schools) and the Governance Hub (a national body set up by the Cabinet Office to support the governance of the third sector). She is a parent of a child with special needs.

Appointed 18 December 2012

Lucy Nutt

Lucy has over 20 years’ experience working in schools and educational management. This includes working in special education and with children from 4 to 18. Lucy has worked for local authorities and within an academy chain. Currently, she is employed by the Tri-borough Education Service working with schools in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC), London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF) and Westminster City Council (WCC). Lucy is also a qualified Ofsted inspector and has co-authored the LDA book, Assemblies to Teach the Golden Rules.

Appointed 29 June 2015

Charlotte Warner

Charlotte has a background in NHS management and private sector commercial negotiation, along with an MBA from INSEAD. Charlotte is parent of a child with special needs and was the parent lead for establishing The Rise School.

Appointed 18 December 2012

Other appointments

Louise Posocco, Director of Finance and Planning and Chief Financial Officer for the Trust

Viv Berkeley, Executive Principal.


Trustee Role Appointed
Neil Goulden Chair Appointed 28 September 2015
Lesley Longstone Vice-Chair Appointed 01 April 2017
Elizabeth Stanton Treasurer Appointed 01 April 2017
Koral Anderson   Appointed 13 December 2019
Michael Clark   Appointed 07 October 2019
Tanith Dodge   Appointed 07 October 2019
Joanna Healey   Appointed 23 November 2015
Lucy Nutt   Appointed 29 June 2015
Jolanta Lasota   Appointed 18 December 2012
Charlotte Warner   Appointed 18 December 2012

Members of the Trust

  • Ambitious about Autism
  • Chief Executive Officer of Ambitious about Autism
  • Chairman of Ambitious about Autism Trustees
  • Chairman of the Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust
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