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Natalie Macpherson, Chair of Governors

  • Organisation: MacIntyre
  • Title: Director of Development

Natalie is Director of Development at MacIntyre, a national charity for adults and children with learning disabilities and autism. In her role she is responsible for the leadership of business development, marketing, fundraising and quality.

Her career started in the Specialist College Sector at Homefield College where she progressed to a Senior Leadership role. She has been at MacIntyre for 11 years and has had the opportunity to undertake a number of roles. Natalie has a particular interest in alternative education and developed MacIntyre’s award winning No Limits provision.

Natalie’s career has been driven by her values and strong belief in ensuring that everyone, no matter what their abilities, is supported to achieve their ambition and full potential.

Natalie is married and has two children, one of whom has autism. In her spare time she enjoys keeping fit, travelling and is interested in nutrition.

Yolande Burgess, Governor

  • 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.

Viv Berkeley 

  • Organisation: Ambitious College
  • Title: Executive 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.

Bola Aworinde, Parent Governor

  • 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 UK recently contributed to developing local government policy with Haringey CCG Public Health Dept, Needs Assessment for Adults and Children with Autism.

Jonathan Ziegel, Parent Governor

Jonathan qualified as a solicitor and after a period in private practice has been a senior lawyer in the Civil Service for nearly 30 years working in a number of Departments. He currently advises on Employment Law to a number of public bodies including DfE and the HM Prison and Probation Service but has advised on subjects as diverse as cigarette smuggling and nuclear decommissioning. Jonathan has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion and in his time has acted as Disability Officer and contributes actively to the carers network.

Jonathan is married and has four boys, all of whom have Autism - his two eldest are currently at Ambitious College. His interests are theatre, art, playing bridge and walking.


Kurt Hintz, Governor

  • Organisation: The College of Haringey, Engield and North East London, N15 4RU
  • Title: Interim Principal

Kurt has worked in Further Education for over 20 years across two countries, formally serving as Director, Vice Principal and Deputy Principal at College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. Kurt is a qualified Mechanical Engineer and begun his career in the New Zealand Army before moving into the private sector and then onto teaching in further education at the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) in New Zealand. Kurt was Chief Examiner to NZQA’s Automotive Engineering National Examinations for three years and also a World Skills National Judge before moving to East Berkshire College in the UK in 2004. Here he managed the Engineering and Computing provision also achieving Centre of Vocational Excellence (COVE) status in Automotive Engineering. Kurt has a long history of vocational and apprenticeship training delivery both in New Zealand and the UK including running national training contracts for industry. Kurt has managed significant technical innovation and has led on many teaching and learning projects including, most recently, the ETF Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment (OTLA), Flexible Learning project in Cyber Security and Industry Placement pilots in preparation for T-levels.

Nicola Hawkins, Staff Governor

  • Organisation: Ambitious College
  • Title: Assistant Principal

Nicola has over 15 years’ experience in developing and managing complex services and teams within a variety of post-16 SEN settings. Nicola joined Ambitious About Autism in July 2015 and brings her expertise of operational and service management to the team. Nicola holds an ILM Level 5 in Leadership and Management and is currently undertaking a MSc in Positive Behaviour Support. Nicola is passionate that all young people are supported to work towards their own meaningful outcomes and develop skills for future success.



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