Academy Council Information

Welcome from the MACs

We are pleased to welcome you to Atwood Primary School!

At Atwood, the safeguarding, wellbeing and needs of the children are the top priority for all of us and we are really proud of the progress and achievements made by the children.

We are fortunate to have extensive playing fields, an orchard and a large garden area where the children experience all the stages in growing flowers and vegetables. The school is close to Kingswood and open common land which provides opportunities for all kinds of outdoor exploration and activities that enrich the curriculum. In the Early Years classes the children take full advantage of the great outdoors in the Forest School activities that are an innovative addition to the curriculum.

Atwood MACs and staff believe in strong partnerships with parents/carers in order to help each child reach their potential, both academically and personally. Our main focus is on the skills of literacy and numeracy which underpin all learning, but the children experience a wide, exciting curriculum that gives them stimulating and enjoyable ways of learning.

The Headteacher, SLT, staff from Pegasus and the MACs work in close partnership and the responsibilities of the Local Governing Body (MACs) as described below.

Members of Atwood Academy Council have a range of skills and experience including accounting and finance, banking, law, HR, teaching, education management, learning support, IT and health and safety. We have parents, community and staff representatives, all sharing a commitment to ensuring that Atwood children receive the best possible start in life.

The school is fortunate to have a really strong staff team who provide excellent teaching and learning for the children, led by our Headteacher, Rob Veale, who has been at Atwood since 2015.  During this time the school has undergone significant change as Rob has put in place structures and improvements that have raised expectations, skills and accountability of senior leaders and staff.

We all want your children at Atwood to have exciting learning opportunities and experiences and we welcome your comments and suggestions for improvement.

Atwood MACs

  • Andre Savarian

  • Miles Chester

    Staff MAC
  • Amanda Lawrence

    Staff MAC
  • Matthew Nolan

    Safeguarding MAC
  • Anna Huzzey

    Parent MAC
  • Dale Burridge

Andre Savarian

Term of Service started:

16th September 2021

Term of Service ends:

15th September 2025

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Andre is a financial services professional with a breadth of experience across fund management and corporate finance advisory. He works for ‘Finance Earth’, one of the UK’s leading environmental impact investment advisors which develops innovative financial solutions and projects to address societal and environmental issues for conservation, climate and communities.

He joined the Aacdemy Council as a Community member to support with strategy, resources and financial management, alongside supporting linked roles in curriculum development and good governance.

As a father with two young children, he is committed to working together with the senior leadership, educational and governing teams in Atwood to develop and widen access to unique children’s experiences and an education filled with variety and wonder, providing them with a foundation to be imaginative, compassionate and hard working allowing them to develop, persevere and flourish through school and where their passions take them.

Miles Chester

Term of Service started:

15th September 2022

Term of Service ends:

14th September 2026


Staff MAC

Amanda Lawrence

Term of Service started:

25th March 2021

Term of Service ends:

24th March 2025


Staff MAC

Mrs Lawrence knew from an early age that she wanted to work with children after running her school’s tuck shop at the age of 8. After a stint in insurance and accounting, she joined the Met Police as a Youth & Community Officer and then as a Child Protection Officer.

Mrs Lawrence has a long association with Atwood; her three daughters went to the school, and she has been a governor and now MAC at the school over a period of 20 years. She also has experience as a governor at Forestdale and Riddlesdown.

Outside work, much of Mrs Lawrence’s time is spent as a besotted nanny to baby granddaughter Sophia!

Matthew Nolan

Term of Service started:

24th March 2022

Term of Service ends:

23rd March 2026


Safeguarding MAC

Matt is the father of twin daughters in Key Stage 1 at Atwood Primary School and is the school’s Safeguarding Governor. He is a Metropolitan Police officer with approaching 19 years’ service, enjoying a very varied career which, among much else, has taught him how to be an effective communicator.
Most pertinently, his current role is as a youth engagement officer. This entails taking a proactive approach to improving the opportunities and prospects for young people. In addition, he is an accredited federation representative. This peer-elected role has offered him a great deal of training and experience in matters of discrimination, diversity, advocacy, health & safety and grievance management. Within his career he has spent a good number of years in community policing and as such is experienced in problem solving and strategising in partnership with local stakeholders.
Matt now wishes to apply his experience and skill sets to pursuits outside of the policing arena and make a positive contribution to his local school community as your parent representative. He hopes to play an impassioned and active role in giving our young students the tools and opportunities they deserve to achieve their fullest potential.

Anna Huzzey

Term of Service started:

1st December 2022

Term of Service ends:

31st November 2026


Parent MAC

Dale Burridge

Term of Service started:


Frequently asked questions about Academy Councils

Pegasus is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT), governed overall by a Board of Directors and then a separate Academy Council for each school.

What is a MAC?
The three letters stand for ‘Member of the Academy Council’

What is the Academy Council?
The Academy Council consists of:

  1. Up to 5 x Community MACs
  2. 2 x Staff MACs
  3. Heads of School
  4. Up to 4 x Parent MACs
  5. Up to 2 x Board Representatives.

Alongside the heads of School the Academy Council is responsible for monitoring key aspects of each school’s performance – specifically:

  1. Outcomes for children and learners;
  2. Quality of teaching, learning and assessment;
  3. Behaviour and welfare (including safeguarding)

What does a MAC do?
A Member of the Academy Council (MAC) acts as a school governor, though there are differences: For example, in the Pegasus Academy Trust MACs don’t have any financial responsibilities as the executive group have this responsibility. MACs act as ‘critical friend’ to the school, supporting governance and strategy. Parent MACs specifically represent the parents of the school. A MAC may have responsibility for a particular year group and area, for example Pupil Premium or Safeguarding.

How do I become a MAC?
Parent MACs are elected for a four year period and fresh elections take place whenever terms expire.  Community MACs are appointed by the Academy Council themselves and may be local councillors etc. (not normally parents).  Staff elect their own representatives.

How can I contact a MAC?
You can contact MACs via the school e-mail address marked ‘For attention of [name of governor] or speak to any of us (photos above) on the playgrounds before or after school


Each school in the Trust has its own Academy Council. The Academy Council is responsible for monitoring key aspects of each school’s performance namely:

  • Outcomes for children and learners;
  • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment;
  • Behaviour and welfare (including safeguarding);
  • Ethos and values (and how they match the Trust’s overall values statements)

Members of the Academy Councils (MACs) are expected to establish for themselves what is happening in their schools and to ensure that they receive evidence on these key aspects from a variety of sources. A budget is set aside by Directors so that, when required, Academy Councils may commission their own consultants to give an independent view on areas of concern.

Academy Councils (sometimes known as ‘Local Governing Bodies’) are vital to Directors in ensuring that local voices are properly heard and the have the right to escalate matters to Directors if they vote to do so.  Since the formation of the Trust at least one Director has attended each Academy Council so that a quick response can be given where required.

Attendance of members of the Academy Council


First published on 6th September, 2022 and modified 16th November, 2023

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