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Maria Chambers, Chair of Governors 

Organisation: Scope
Title: Director of Education

It has been my privilege to be employed at Scope for 8 years. My role is to manage to the Scope Schools and College, ensuring a high quality educational experience for the young people we serve.

I am an additional OFSTED Inspector and a Member of the Board of Association of National Specialist Colleges. I have a Degree in Management (IIM) and am qualified to PGCE level. I have postgraduate certificate in Working with People with Significant and Complex Needs. I have a post graduate senior leadership development certificate and am currently undertaking the Executive Leadership Development Programme and studying for an MSC (Psychology) Work with People with Significant and Complex Needs. I ran my own consultancy business for 6 years and prior to that set up mental health educational services in FE colleges across the Northwest. My interests are art, literature, theatre, running and personal fitness. My passion is quality of life and equality for disabled people.


Andy Forbes 

Organisation: College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London
Title: Principal

Andy Forbes started in 2015 as Principal of the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, having served for six years as Principal of Hertford Regional College. Previously he was Vice Principal at Blackpool and the Fylde College, and before that he was Director of Widening Participation at The Oldham College. He began his career as a secondary school teacher of English and Drama, before making the transition to further education by joining Manchester College. He has served as a school governor, Chair of a Housing Association, Chair of Oldham Race Equality Partnership and specialist adviser to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Social Cohesion. More recently he has been a Board Member of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and Chair of the LEP Skills & Employment Programme Board. 


Yolande Burgess

Organisation: London Councils
Title: Strategy Director – Young People’s Education and Skills

Yolande leads the Young People’s Education and Skills team at London Councils and guides work in areas such as preparing for adulthood for young people with special educational needs, careers guidance and the strategy to achieve full participation to age 18, contributing to national policy making and local implementation.

Throughout her 25 year career in the public sector Yolande’s responsibilities have included partnership working and delivery, most notably the implementation of the New Deal programme across north London. She has substantial experience of developing and implementing post-16 education policy and strategy, and planning and commissioning learning provision locally and regionally.


Ann Ruthven

Organisation: Project Manager 

Ann is an experienced project manager and this includes experience of commissioning work, developing and monitoring plans and managing related staff and budgets. Ann is also a qualified and experienced Careers Adviser and worked for the careers service between 1986 and 2000. 

Since 2000 she has been involved in the management, delivery and development of a wide range of work and projects related to career development and support for schools and further education.

In her work at the Centre for Excellence in Leadership and later with LSIS, she managed ten strands of work including offender learning, safeguarding, preparing colleges for inspection, career development, learner voice and support for learners with learning difficulties and /or disabilities. 

At Achievement for All Ann manages a range of projects for schools and has lead on the development and piloting of Achieving Further the improvement programme for the further education sector.

Ann has personal experience of the challenges and joys of living with someone with autism as one of her sons  has autism and learning difficulties.


Audrey Pidgeon

Dr Audrey Pidgeon (Staff Governor)

Organisation: Ambitious College
Title: Head of Learning Support

Audrey has a doctorate in Behaviour Analysis and Therapy. She has 10 years’ experience supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities in schools, colleges and community supported living services. In 2011 Audrey joined Ambitious about Autism as an ABA Supervisor in the 6th Form of TreeHouse School. In her current role as Learning Support Manager Audrey implements supports learners to enable them to overcome challenges to access the curriculum in the college.

Viv Berkeley 
Organisation: Ambitious College
Title: Principal 

Viv  joined Ambitious about Autism in May 2014. She has spent the last 22 years working in the FE sector in various guises - volunteer,  lecturer, coordinator, manager and  Head of Department. Her experience is across the sector – FE colleges, Local Authorities, Universities and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Viv is motivated by social justice, social inclusion and equality and always works from this value base. 


Jolanta Lasota

Organisation: Ambitious about Autism
Title: Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism

Jolanta is passionate about enabling children, young people and families affected by disability to live the life they choose. She previously worked for a number of leading voluntary sector organisations including Turn2us, Shelter, I CAN and the Governance Hub. She is Chair of the Autism Education Trust and SEND Consortium which runs the service SENDirect.


Geoffrey Ocen

Organisation: The Bridge Renewal Trust
Title: Chief Executive

Geoffrey is the Chief Executive of The Bridge Renewal Trust, a community-based organisation and social enterprise based in Haringey. As Haringey Council’s official Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner, The Bridge is at the forefront of working with the Council to forge stronger partnerships with the local voluntary and community sector.

Geoffrey started his career in academia and has held several senior management roles including Programme Director at the London Borough of Haringey and Associate Director in the NHS. He is a Non-Executive Board member of South Essex College and sits on a number of Boards including London Borough of Haringey Health and Wellbeing Board, Haringey Community Safety Partnership Board and Haringey Adult Safeguarding Board.


Bola Aworinde

Organisation: ERADA UK
Title: Founder

Bola is the founder of ERADA UK a non governmental agency that focuses on education, training, rehabilitation, advocacy and disability awareness. She works with families of persons with disabilities, organisations  and government policy departments in the United Kingdom and Africa. ERADA recently contributed to developing local government policy with Haringey CCG Public Health Dept, Needs Assessment for Adults and Children with Autism.

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