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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
  • Paul Disley-Tindell
  • Alistair MacCallum


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
Koral Anderson  

Appointed 13 December 2019
Retired 31 December 2020

Michael Clark   Appointed 7 October 2019
Tanith Dodge   Appointed 7 October 2019
Joanna Healey   Appointed 23 November 2015
Lucy Nutt   Appointed 29 June 2015
Charlotte Warner   Appointed 18 December 2012

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
  • Harry Wilkinson, Director of Service Development
  • Helen Spice, Interim Director of Finance and Planning
  • 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


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).

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.

Ambitious about Autism governance

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.


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 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. 

Charlotte Warner profile image

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.