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.

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

I moved to Bristol in 2018 and this coincided with a decision to reduce the time spent running my management consultancy business. I wanted to find an opportunity to become involved in the community in a way that my career in financial services and experience sitting as a Non-Executive Director on several Boards could add value.

I believe strongly that good quality education appropriate to the needs of individual children is essential having seen with my own children how important this is.

These factors prompted to look at the role of Academy Councillor.


Sponsor Councillor – Martin Neary


Sponsor Councillor – Sky Westwood

As a former teacher and middle leader in MFL (French and Spanish) who now works in the Department for Education, I’m looking for a new and different way to make a difference in a local school. I’m keen to be able to better understand how schools work from a different perspective and am ready for the challenge of a new role in a school context. In my current role I am increasingly aware of the importance of good governance and am keen to be able to contribute to this myself by bringing my skills and experience to the role of Academy Councillor in challenging the senior leadership to continually drive improvements. I am also keen to develop new skills and a better understanding of how schools can be effectively-run, and how effective governance can support this.

Parent Councillor – Marie Mooney

My daughter is a student at Bristol Met. I have played a very active role in her Primary education and have been a presence in her school life in various guises, from Chair of the PTFA for 3 years to volunteer reading support in class. I very much want to continue to be involved in her academic journey and I believe that my skills can be utilized to help to support the Academy Council and senior leadership team to be outstanding.


Staff Councillor – Helen Harman
Teacher Councillor – Vacancy


Charlotte Muzabazi

My name is Charlotte Muzabazi. I am Zimbabwean-British and a qualified solicitor. I moved to Bristol in May 2018 having spent two years working in Dubai and two years before that in London.

I became an Acacemy Councillor because I understand the importance of education and would like to ensure that students have fair access to opportunities and resources. I also appreciate the importance of oversight and accountability in ensuring efficiency and improvement.


Aggie Bennett

I am an Early Years Lead at Ashley Down Schools Federation and have been an Academy Councillor since my first son started at Bristol Met.  I had previously worked with Steve Taylor as part of the parent forum and acted as a local ambassador for the school through my connections at Begbrook Primary and local scouting.

BMA Principal – Cameron Shaw
Student Advocate – Nigel Cooley
Clerk to the Council – Sue Burns


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