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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 – Vacancy
Sponsor Councillor – Vacancy
Sponsor Councillor – Vacancy
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.

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.

CLF Deputy CEO (Education) – Dan Nicholls
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 – Vacancy
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.