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Governance

Our college is governed by individuals committed to the success of the college and ensuring the best possible provision for our learners. They have the skills, competencies, and perspectives needed to help us constantly improve.

If you are interested in becoming a governor at Ambitious College, then please get in touch.

Natalie Macpherson
Chair of Governors

Business Development Director, Horizon Care and Education

Natalie is Business Development Director at Horizon Care and Education, a national provider for children and young people with complex needs. In her role, she is responsible for the leadership of business development and marketing.

Her career started in the specialist college sector at Homefield College where she progressed to a senior leadership role. She then spent a number of years at MacIntyre, a charity for children and adults with learning disabilities and autism, and had the opportunity to undertake a number of roles. Natalie joined Horizon in 2020. Natalie has a particular interest in alternative education and a passion for inclusion. 

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

Natalie 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

Strategy Director, Young People’s Education and Skills, London Councils

Yolande leads the Young People’s Education and Skills team at London Councils and guides to 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 in developing and implementing post-16 education policy and strategy, and planning and commissioning learning provision locally and regionally.

Viv Berkeley
Executive Principal of Ambitious about Autism
Viv joined Ambitious about Autism in May 2014. She has spent over 20 years working in the further education (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
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

Founder, ERADA UK

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 Department.

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 the Department for Education 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 - one of whom is currently at Ambitious College. His interests are theatre, art, playing bridge, and walking.

Kurt Hintz
Governor

Interim Executive Principal, The College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London 

Kurt has worked in further education (FE) 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, before moving to East Berkshire College in the UK in 2004. 

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

Assistant Principal (Operations), Ambitious College

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 in operational and service management to the team. Nicola holds an ILM Level 5 in Leadership and Management and is currently undertaking an 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.

Amma Appiah
Governor

LDN Apprenticeships, Youth Hub Manager

Amma has been working with young people for almost a decade and is driven by wanting to provide them with safe spaces where they are heard and feel they belong. With a focus on mentoring and youth leadership, she believes it is imperative to invest in the personal development of young people and to give them opportunities to discover themselves. Amma is also a governor for a primary school in East London; a trustee for The Beam Foundation; and in her free time enjoys reading, watching action films, and camping.