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The Rise School is governed by Ambitious about Autism Schools Trust. The Board of Trustees consists of individuals who have the skills, competencies and perspectives needed to govern the school.

Lesley Longstone

Appointed: 1 April 2017

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 included several years working for the Employment Service, an arms-length body of the Department for Employment and spent time working in New Zealand as the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education.

Neil Goulden

Appointed: 28 September 2015

Neil had a highly successful 40 year career in the Leisure and Hospitality industry. Since 2014 he has followed a portfolio career focused 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.

Jolanta Lasota

Appointed: 18 December 2012

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.

Charlotte Warner

Appointed: 18 December 2012

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.

Lucy Nutt

Appointed: 29 June 2015

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.

Joanna Healey

Appointed: 23 November 2015

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.

Elizabeth Stanton

Appointed: 1 April 2017

Elizabeth is a recently retired Ernst & 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 Clarke

Appointed: 7 October 2019 

Michael is Senior Legal Counsel at Talk Talk Plc - leading on regulation. Talk Talk and Ambitious about Autism have a long-term partnership. He is a School Governor and Vice Chair of a maintained school converting to an academy. 



Tanith Dodge

Appointed: 7 October 2019 

In her executive career, Tanith has been an HR Director and business leader in several significant organisations, including WH Smith and Marks & Spencer. She has a proven track record working as a member of senior executive teams and in initiating and implementing HR business plans to support the corporate strategy. 

Tanith is now a Non-Executive Director for Busy Bees who are passionate about early learning for all children. She also volunteered for some years in HM Prisons running careers advice for prisoners once they have served their sentences and has coached and mentored individuals through the Prince's Trust.