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The Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees who are passionate about enabling more children and young people with autism to access high-quality education.


Members of the Trust 

Members comprise: 

  • Ambitious about Autism
  • Martyn Craddock
  • Andrew Forbes 
  • Eduardo Gutierrez-Garcia


Trust appointments

Trustee name Role  Date (appointed or retired)
Neil Goulden Chair Appointed 28 September 2015
Lesley Longstone Vice-Chair Appointed 1 April 2017
Elizabeth Stanton Treasurer Appointed 1 April 2017
Michael Clark   Appointed 7 October 2019
Paul Disley-Tindell   Appointed 10 December 2021
Tanith Dodge   Retired 3 March 2022
Joanna Healey   Appointed 23 November 2015
Lucy Nutt   Appointed 29 June 2015
Laura Palmer   Appointed 10 December 2021
Kumar Tangri   Appointed 10 December 2021
Charlotte Warner   Retired 15 December 2021


Other appointments

  • Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive and Accounting Officer
  • Paul Breckell, Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officer for the Trust
  • Alison Worsley, Director of External Affairs
  • Danae Leaman-Hill, Director of Fundraising and Development
  • Louise Honeysett, Director of Finance and Planning and Company Secretary
  • Viv Berkeley, Director of Education
  • Zoe Weaver, Director of People


Statutory documents and accounts

View all Ambitious about Autism School Trust statutory documents on our organisation policies and reports page.  


Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust Trustees


Neil Goulden profile image

Neil Goulden

Chair of Ambitious about Autism Board and Chair of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust Board

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.

Lesley Longstone profile image

Lesley Longstone

Vice Chair of Ambitious about Autism and Vice Chair of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

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.

Elizabeth Stanton profile image

Elizabeth Stanton

Treasurer of Ambitious about Autism and Treasurer of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

Elizabeth is a recently retired Ernst and Young (EY) partner. She graduated in Mathematics before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. She moved overseas after qualifying, returning to the UK in 1986 when she joined EY. In her career with EY she was an audit partner on a wide range of FTSE listed clients. She has lead Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), bid/defence work and large fraud investigations. She also held various management roles most recently being responsible for Risk Management in the assurance practice for the UK and Ireland. She is a Governor of Cranleigh School where she is a member of the Finance, Strategic Planning and Risk Management committees.

Michael Clark Trustee of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

Michael Clark

Trustee of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

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).

Paul Disley-Tindell

Paul Disley-Tindell

Trustee of Ambitious about Autism and Trustee of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

Paul is Director of Corporate Real Estate at Telereal Trillium, a privately owned, London based property company. The company, which owns £6bn of assets, has long-term property partnerships with some of the UK’s largest occupiers, including BT and the Department for Work and Pensions. Paul is responsible for new business opportunities in both the public and private sectors, asset management and operational property strategies.

Prior to joining Telereal Trillium, Paul worked for the asset management team at Royal Mail Property Holdings, where he was responsible for a number of operational property portfolios. A Chartered Surveyor, Paul has a BSc (Hons) in land management from Reading University and a postgraduate certificate in property investment from Cass Business School. He is a committee member of the Reading Real Estate Foundation, an educational charity, established to support real estate education at the University of Reading by engaging with industry to help students to achieve their full potential.

Ambitious about Autism governance

Joanna Healey

Trustee of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

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.


Lucy Nutt

Trustee of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

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 LB Enfield as the Head of School and Early Years Improvement. Lucy is also a qualified Ofsted inspector and has co-authored the LDA book, Assemblies to Teach the Golden Rules. 

laura palmer

Laura Palmer

Trustee of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

Laura has 18 years of experience in education. She is the Team Around the School Manager for Surrey County Council. The Team works closely with schools, Council services, Health services, the Mental Health Alliance and the voluntary sector to ensure that the additional needs of children and young people are met at the earliest opportunity.

Laura has an autistic son who attends The Rise School. She has direct experience of the barriers children, young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families encounter with accessing services. She is passionate and motivated to bring about positive change. As a parent, she is invested in removing barriers, promoting inclusion and being a champion for children and young people.

kumar tangri

Kumar Tangri

Trustee of Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust

Kumar is a subject matter expert in financial regulation at the Bank of England (Prudential Regulation Authority) which is responsible for the safety and soundness of the UK financial system. Kumar is focused on challenging industry to ensure good risk management, satisfactory controls and procedures and strong governance. Kumar previously worked in industry to establish these procedures and controls.   

Kumar is a chartered accountant and holds a number of professional banking qualifications. 

Kumar has an autistic son who is currently transitioning from school to adulthood.