Governing body

Academies are schools funded by the government with the freedom to govern independently – but all are accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. To share resources and best practice, many are part of multi-academy trusts – a network of schools under one legal body.

Ark Academy is part of Ark - a leading education charity and one of the country’s top-performing academy operators. Ark is non-denominational and does not make any profit from running its schools.

The Ark Schools Articles of Association, Master Funding Agreement and Accountabilities Framework can be found on the Ark Schools website. Ark’s relationship with the Secretary of State is set out in the master funding agreement. There are also supplemental funding agreements for each individual school in the network, including Ark Academy.

Every school in the Ark network is the legal responsibility of the Ark Schools Board. This board focuses on statutory duties and delegates most day-to-day responsibilities to each school’s individual Local Governing Body (LGB). This means that, unlike in most non-academy governing bodies, Ark Academy’s governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement 2013

PDF iconArk Academy Supplemental funding agreement


Ark Academy’s LGB is made up up of six to ten members appointed by Ark, to include the Chair and Principal. Governors are usually people with a local connection or a particular skill or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area.

Ark aims to create a balanced group that will have the right skills, connections and dynamic for the LGB to work well and support the school in achieving exceptional performance:

  • Good insight into the specific challenges at the school and the general challenges of operating top-quality schools
  • Excellent community links
  • Specific skills as needed by/relevant to the school
  • A link to the senior executive team of Ark

The LGB meets five times per year.

contacting the governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Samira Sadeghi ( Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit

If you have any governance-related queries, please contact

current governors

Delia smith (Principal)

Patrick Wall (Chair)

For over 20 years, Patrick has been a governor at four state schools, both Primary and Secondary. Having attended six different non-selective state schools and being the first person to attend Oxford University from his Comprehensive school, Patrick appreciates that education can transform peoples’ lives and is the most important investment we can make, both as a community and as a country. Patrick runs his own software company, employing 200 people in five different countries. He is married with two children, both of whom attend their local school in Brent.

Sue Sanders (Vice Chair, Finance Link Governor & Health & Safety Link Governor)

My background is in local government, education, infrastructure projects, “big four” management consultancy, governance and finance. I am a qualified accountant who chairs an Audit Committee for a London Borough. I’m also studying for a Masters in Law. My own education gave me social mobility and a lifelong passion for learning. What also stood out about my own experience of school was that the teachers really looked out for me. I want young people today to have as good an educational experience as I had. That is why I’m a governor of what I consider to be an excellent and caring school.

Adam Grodecki (Ark Nominated)

I am the Founder and Director of the Forward Institute, which has been set up by a coalition of 20 major organisations to help their emerging leaders meet the challenges facing society in the 21st century. I have also been a consultant for five years in the London office of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Prior to joining BCG I co-founded and was Chairman of Student Hubs, a charity that mobilises a network of 25,000 university students to become active citizens and tackle pressing community needs. I am passionate about education and in preparing the next generation to be well rounded and successful active citizens; willing and able to make a mark on the world.

Esther Maynard (Ark Nominated)

I am an education lawyer advising schools and local authorities on education law matters. I clerk governing body disciplinary committees and independent review panels and advise on admissions’ appeals. I previously managed a large project within the charitable sector on improving reintegration of children excluded permanently from school or who have been out of education. I have extensive knowledge of equality law and human rights. I am firmly committed to enhancing the educational potential of all children. I believe that this is possible with strong governance which the LGB helps to provide. 

Garret Schembri (Safeguarding link governor)

I have over ten years’ experience as a practitioner operating in the risk management and compliance within the financial services industry. I hope to use my extensive experience to ensure the safeguarding of pupils at Ark Academy and allow them to reach their full potential.

Karin Ulukut-Barrett (Local Authority Representative)

I am a Local Authority Governor at Ark Academy, which means I try to champion the needs of pupils and families in our local community. I understand that every family wants their child’s school to offer them the best opportunities. That was why I became a PTA member and a school governor when my first child started school. I worked in commerce and lived in different countries, but I became so interested in education that I decided to retrain as a primary teacher. I taught locally for 20 years, so I have seen many changes and challenges in Brent schools and in Brent itself. I also love learning languages, art, dancing and gardening and I volunteer to promote recycling. I hope to use all my experience to contribute to giving your child the best at Ark Academy.

Ian Wace (Sponsor Associate)


All appointments are made by the Governance Manager for Ark Schools.  The term of a governor is three years, except for the Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of their time in post. Governors may be re-appointed for further terms.

The register of interests and attendance information for governors can be found here: PDF iconArk Academy Governor Attendance and Register of Interest 2017-18.pdf