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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 and North 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 subcommittees, as shown in the diagram below.

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 – Clare Ryder

Leaving school at 16 I embarked on what became a 35 year career in Financial Services, starting my own business in 2005 and alongside this sitting on the Boards of several companies. I moved to Bristol in 2018 and with more flexibility around my working life I wanted to find ways to become more involved in the community using some of the experiences and skills learned during my career. I believe that a good quality education appropriate to the individual needs of the child is essential and that we should strive to ensure that this is something delivered to all. I was delighted to join BMA in October 2019 where I work with a team who are committed to the same objectives. I am also a member of the BMA Community Development Group.

Sponsor Councillor – Martin Neary

As the son of immigrants to the UK I was taught at an early age the value of education, in terms of assimilation into a new culture and in being able to earn a living for myself and my family, but more importantly that your education is a portable gift that nobody but nobody can take from you.  I have therefore had a lifelong thirst for knowledge and self-improvement and ensuring that others can have the same opportunities that I have been able to access, due to the first-class education that I have received during my life in the UK.  I have spent the last 20 years actively supporting education within Bristol, first as a school governor, and for the last 16 years as a councillor at BMA.  During those 16 years Whitefield (the schools previous name) has gone from being in ‘special measures’ to BMA being one of the highest performing schools not only in Bristol but in England.  A testament to the hard work and dedication of all our students, their parents and guardians and our amazing teaching and support staff.

Sponsor Councillor – Marie Mooney

I have worked successfully in the Telecommunications industry for the last 24 years, holding a variety of roles along the way. In my current role of Global Bid Manager, I have gained lots of experience within the realms of Governance and I was very keen to put my skills to good use in the wider community, and this led me to become an Academy Councillor at BMA.  I am passionate about achieving an outstanding education for all children, regardless of their abilities or backgrounds and believe that all children should receive equal opportunities at school to enable them to reach their full potential, whatever that may be.

I am also a parent of two daughters, one of whom attends BMA currently. I live and work locally and take great pride in hearing the good things that the students of BMA are achieving and the buzz the school is creating in the local community. I really want to encourage both parent and local community engagement with BMA and am also a member of the BMA Community Development Group.

I am very pleased to be part of the Academy Council as we strive to improve and challenge the school experience and the learning outcomes of all students.

Staff Councillor – Helen Harman

I am the school Librarian here at Bristol Metropolitan Academy starting my journey with the school in 2003.  I come initially from a secretarial background having over 30 years’ experience in the publishing world.  This was put on hold when I had my two children.   I became an Academy Councilor as being a mother I wanted what is best for our pupils.  I am passionate about our pupils learning and how we can provide for them the journey through school to reach their full potential whatever this might be.  Part of my role as an Academy Councilor is Health and Safety, monitoring our statutory obligations as well as acting as a conduit to any concerns that are raised by staff around the workplace.

Sally Apps
Helen Bruten

I am a TA specialising in reading intervention at a South Gloucestershire primary school and am very focused on the importance of literacy and children’s mental health and well-being. I am passionate about inclusion and opportunity with an interest in how schools tackle behaviour issues to improve student outcomes. I became a Parent Councillor because I strongly believe in local education and wish to help make a difference to the lives of young people in my community having made Fishponds my home for over 12 years.

BMA Principal – Cameron Shaw
Student Advocate – Nigel Cooley

I have been a Member of Staff since 2004 and I am currently Head of Transition/ Summer School. My roles and interests cover a number of areas, many of which are related to Physical Education and Sport. I remain involved in Primary PE across the wider Trust and within BMA play a lead role with our Fencing students, in Water Sports and the Duke of Edinburgh Award, as well as focusing on inclusion within PE and in developing Student Leadership. I jointly run the Student Academy Council and I have been on the Academy Council since October 2018 as Student Advocate. I am a founding member of the BMA Community Development Group.

Mark Swallow

I have been in English Department at BMA since 2009. In addition to teaching I am the coordinating member of staff for the Airbus Flying Challenge programme and I have some responsibility for Future Quest. In my role as an Academy Councillor I am keen for my expertise in English and literacy as well as my general interest in many other aspects of school life to help BMA move on in its journey.

Herdeep Wynter

I have a background in social work and counselling, and a long history of working with children and young adults in a range of settings. It has been extremely rewarding work; supporting in care homes, running groups for those facing exclusion and providing a voice as an advocate.  As a parent I understand the challenges young people can sometimes face once they get to secondary school. I aspire to ensure that all children get a fair and inclusive education regardless of their abilities or background.

Kane Davis

Since moving to Bristol in 2018, I have worked in fundraising and development for another school, and now work for the Local Authority in housing enforcement. I was the first person in my extended family to finish school and attend university and understand some of the challenges pupils face in reaching their potential. I am committed to ensuring that all children have access to quality education and opportunities – regardless of background or ability.

It’s brilliant to be a part of the Academy Council and have the opportunity to challenge the school’s approach to education, whilst recognising and celebrating best practise.

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.

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