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Academy Council

Governance within a multi-academy trust

Bristol Metropolitan Academy is part of the Cabot Learning Federation, a multi-academy trust that is responsible for a number of academies across Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset, Gloucester and Somerset.  Governance for a multi-academy trust operates at two levels.  At trust level, there is a Board of Directors.  The directors are accountable to the Department for Education and external government agencies, including the Charity Commission, for the quality of the education the trust provides and the effective use of the associated academy funding. They are required to have systems in place through which they can assure themselves of quality, financial probity, safety and good practice. The Board is provided assurance on a number of these areas through various sub-committees, as shown in the diagram below. Visit the CLF website for more information about the board.

Academy Council

At a local level, each academy has an Academy Council comprising of up to 13 Academy Councillors.  Academy Councils are responsible for holding Principals and their leadership teams to account for the quality and effectiveness of the academic experience of the students under their care with the aim of securing effective school improvement.  They do this through monitoring performance against an annual academy improvement plan, through monitoring risks and responses to risks, and by overseeing systems and processes for the safeguarding of children and the health, safety and wellbeing of academy staff.

Similar to a Governing Body, the role of the Council is primarily to support and scrutinise the activities of the Academy to ensure the highest standards are achieved for students and staff alike. Each Academy Council plays a full role in monitoring the delivery of outstanding teaching across the Federation. We are very fortunate to have a dedicated team of experienced colleagues in the Bristol Metropolitan Academy Council from a wide range of backgrounds who are passionate about supporting the Academy.

Academy Councillors

Chair – Laura Walder 
I joined the Academy Council in 2023. Since graduating from University in the city, I have worked within Bristol’s charity sector and am a qualified H&S professional. I have  keen interest in the arts and the natural world and I am passionate about education and learning.

As Chair, I lead the Academy Council, providing strategic direction, as well as support for the senior leadership team. As Chair of Academy Council meetings and I oversee recruitment to the Council.

Sponsor Councillor – Dr Joanne Duffy

Following five years as an academic, I have worked at a national research funder for the past seventeen years in a variety of senior roles. I currently work as a senior research governance and policy manager with responsibilities relating to policy harmonisation, continuous improvement, ethics and integrity, and complaints and misconduct.

I came to Bristol in 2003 and have lived in Fishponds since 2008 with my husband and two children, one of whom currently attends BMA.

I became an academy councillor because I’m keen to do what I can to support the school in its aims, building a positive learning environment and cohesive school community to support students to meet their full potential. Part of my role as Academy Councillor is to act as the link Councillor for Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND).

Sponsor Councillor – Daisy Mason

I am a local Fishponds resident. Mum of 1, soon to be 2. I work in the art department on TV and Films, based mostly in Bristol and the south west. My interests outside of work and family life include cinema, books, walking and cake.

Sponsor Councillor – Minna Koo

I am a seasoned marketer with a background in strategic and digital marketing across various commercial sectors, including banking and finance, retail, telecommunication, and energy companies in Asia Pacific region.

Recently, I made a significant change in my life by moving to Bristol with my family to prioritize spending more quality time with them and ensuring a good education for my daughter.  I am committed to ensuring that my daughter receives the best possible education. This personal experience has deepened my understanding of the significance of education in shaping individuals’ lives and the future of society as a whole.

I am glad to be an academy councillor at Bristol Metropolitan Academy, where I have the opportunity to actively contribute to the education sector and support the development of young minds.  I am driven by the belief that education is a catalyst for change and progress.  It not only equips individuals with knowledge and skills but also empowers them to pursue their dreams, contribute to their communities, and shape a better future. By leveraging my commercial background, I am dedicated to making a positive impact on the education system and advocating for the resources and support needed to nurture the potential of pupils.

Parent Councillor – Jon Hallett

I am an IT professional with over 25 years’ experience of IT and management in higher education. I moved to Bristol in 2007, and I currently work in a technical leadership role in the IT department of a local university.

My interest in school governance started almost a decade ago. My eldest had just started at a Fishponds nursery school, when a parent governor position became available. I thought it sounded like a good way of becoming more involved in both my children’s education and in the community, so I volunteered for a year – and ended up as chair of governors of the nursery school and its attached children’s centre for five years! During that time I got to find out all about school governance in Bristol and about the challenges faced by families in Fishponds. My son and daughter now both go to BMA, and I’m really pleased to be able to contribute to the community again as a councillor.

Parent Councillor – Vacancy
Staff Councillor – Vacancy
CLF Deputy CEO (Education) – Dan Nicholls

I am the Deputy CEO for the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF). Previously Dan was Executive Principal for the secondary academies and prior to that Principal of Bristol Brunel Academy for three years, after a similar stint as the Deputy Head at Devizes School (11-18) in the middle of Wiltshire. As an Assistant Principal at Redland Green School, Dan benefitted from the unique opportunity to be at the heart of and develop a new school in Bristol.

His early teaching career included a Head of Department and second i/c of Humanities role at Kingsfield School (11-18) in South Gloucestershire and a teacher of Geography role at King Alfred School (11-18) in North Somerset. Prior to teaching, Dan completed a PhD at the University of Exeter in Hydrology considering the movement and impact of fine sediment on Salmonids.

BMA Principal – Cameron Shaw
Student Advocate – Vacancy
Dave Vince 

I am the Deputy Programme Leader of Design Technology at BMA as well as a teacher of IT. I have been working at BMA since 2014 when I joined as a learning support mentor. This experience sparked an interest and passion in educating young people, resulting in me training to become a teacher. I have held a teaching position at BMA since 2020 where I have been fortunate enough to work alongside both fantastic students and teaching staff.

I jumped at the chance to become a governor for the school to gain greater insight and understanding of the education system, to better enable me to support the students’ journey through their education. The position of councillor also affords me the opportunity to support my colleagues with their practice ensuring all parties involved are working harmoniously to achieve a rich and positive student-led learning environment.

Clerk to the Council – Sue Burns

If you wish to contact a member of the council please contact the Clerk to the Council:
Email: [email protected]
Letter: c/o Bristol Metropolitan Academy, Snowdon Road, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 2HD.