How Ark's governance works
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 our Academy's governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.
The Ark Schools Decision Making Framework outlines where responsibility and accountability sits for the key functional areas within Ark Schools between the ‘tiers’ of governance.
Our Local Governing Body
Our Local Governing Body (LGB) is made up of 6-10 members – usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area. The board generally includes:
- Academy Principal
- Up to two Parent Governors
- One Teaching Staff Governor
- One Non-teaching Staff Governor
- One Local Authority representative
We aim 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. Attributes we look for include:
- 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 Schools
All appointments are made by the Director of Governance for Ark Schools. The term of a governor is three years, except for the Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of his or her time in post. Governors may be reappointed for further terms.
The LGB meets four times a year.
Becoming a governor
If you have an interest and commitment to improving education, and would like to make a difference within your community, please register your interest in becoming a governor by completing our online Governor Application Form. If you have any questions about a governor’s role or responsibilities please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A full programme of induction, training and support is provided. You can see more information, including role specifications here.
Contacting the governors
The current Clerk to Governors is Vanessa Watson (email@example.com). Please contact them if you have any governance-related queries, or would like to contact one of the governors.
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.
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.
Charith is an Artificial Intelligence and Data Consultant at Deloitte where he works with public, private and financial sector clients to better understand and use data to solve complex problems. He is also deeply passionate about learning and the education of vulnerable children in society. Having worked in a school in NW London for three years as a Lead Teacher of Sixth Form and Science/ Economics teacher, he has seen first-hand the incredible impact of high-quality teaching on student learning.
Phil has two wonderful daughters at Ark Academy, one in their fifth year at the school. He has taken up this role to support the school as it further develops to meet the needs of its students, while also supporting its staff. He has over six years' experience in critically assessing establishments and supporting them as they implement new processes. He also has over twenty years as an academic researcher developing and implementing new methods, while supporting and mentoring colleagues and students as they build their career.
Dr Iqbal is originally from Manchester and currently resides and works in London with her 3 children the oldest who has just started at Ark. She works as a GP in the area as well as being a GP tutor for medical education at two separate London universities. She loves being involved in anything that can help a child’s development and address their unique personalities and experiences in order to ensure every child matters.
Katja has worked globally in Higher Education marketing, student recruitment & admissions both in the private education sector and at some of the world's leading institutions, including UCL, University of Sydney, King’s College London, the British Council & SOAS. After 7 years working in Australia and in China, Katja returned to London in 2019 to take up the post as Director of Student Recruitment at UCL. She cares about students as individuals, and recognizes the importance of good advice and support in helping a student navigate the many paths that can lead to a rewarding and happy career. She is very much of the view that the journey counts as much as the destination. Being a governor is a real honour for Katja as it allows her to share her university experience in the hope of helping Ark students and staff along their journeys.
Dani is the Senior Maths Network Lead for Ark Schools, working with secondary schools and trainees across Ark. Prior to this, she was a head of department at two of the most high-performing comprehensive schools in the country, supporting the students and her colleagues to secure exceptional maths results, in addition to leading teacher development and induction.
Usama went to an underperforming state primary and secondary school in Westminster, receiving a BA (Hons) from UCL in History, Politics and Economics. Usama is the first generation in his family to go to university and wholeheartedly believes in the opportunities that education delivers. His primary motivation for becoming a Governor stems from his own mixed experiences of state education and wants to use his voice to provide the diversity of thought that can help address the all-too-familiar challenges faced by students. Usama is currently an Investment Banking Analyst at Citi.
Heer is a medical doctor at St George's Hospital after qualifying from UCL in 2019. His research interests focus on novel treatments for patients with debilitating cancers and he has worked in collaboration with the University of Oxford during his MSc and both the Royal Free and Guy's hospital during his postgraduate training. Throughout his medical career, he has shown passion for education, improving access and offering students insights into different career opportunities. With over 8 years of experience as a leader for UCLs largest widening participation scheme - Target Medicine, heer has advocated for disadvantaged students to stand a fair chance at attainment at top medical schools. Finally, Heer co-founded the platform MedAhead to provide insight workshops, academic support and work-experience for college students with aspirations to enter medicine.
Heer believes that all students should have strong role models and be offered the chance to develop and nurture their talents. As governor, Heer can offer influence to ensure students are reaching their goals whilst receiving the upmost support throughout their academic journeys.