Reminder – Monday 26th November, Ark Network Hub Day – School closed to pupils

Ark will be holding their annual Hub Day and the school is closed to pupils. Pupils return as normal Tuesday 27th November.


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 Elvin Academy is part of Ark Schools - 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 Elvin .

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 Elvin's governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration. 

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement

PDF iconArk Elvin Supplemental Funding Agreement

Our local governing body

Ark Elvin Academy’s local governing body (LGB) is made up as follows:

  • Six to ten members appointed by Ark, to include the Chair – usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area
  • Ark Elvin Academy Principal
  • One parent governor
  • One teaching staff governor
  • One non-teaching staff governor
  • One local authority representative from Brent

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

Contacting the governors

The LGB meets four times a year.

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

Rebecca Curtis (Principal)

Sophy Blakeway (Chair)

Until autumn 2014 I was Director of Education for Ark Schools. I started my teaching career in London where I worked in Lewisham, Wandsworth and as a Primary Advisory Teacher for ILEA. I have been the headteacher of two schools in Hampshire, most recently Hiltingbury Junior School which was described as outstanding by Ofsted in inspection reports of 2008 and 2010.
Further to my role as headteacher I have worked as a School Improvement Partner for three schools and in 2009/10 as executive head of a school in challenging circumstances. As Director of Education for Ark, I worked with the then 18 academies in the network to achieve the Ark vision of ensuring every child, whatever their background, has real options to either go to university or follow the career path of their choice when they leave school.

Fatai Ajidagba (Ark Nominated Governor)

I have more than 10 years’ experience in the NHS. Prior to that, I was an auditor in Nigeria until I relocated to the UK in 2004. I served as a Governor and Chairman of the Finance and Resources committee at the Kingsbury Green Primary School, London from 2012 to 2014. I also volunteered at the Age Concern Westminster (now Age UK), and as a Game-maker at the London 2012 Olympics. I hold a Masters degree in Accounting & Finance and an MBA from the Aston Business School. I joined Ark Elvin Academy’s governing body because I am eager to contribute to quality education for kids.

Sally Belfield (Finance Link Governor)

I am a civil servant currently working in HM Treasury. I have worked in policy, operational and corporate roles in a number of UK government departments, including the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, UK Trade and Investment and the Department for the Environment. I have a Masters degree from the London School of Economics specialising in Global Politics and Economic Diplomacy. I completed my undergraduate studies in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Manchester.

I joined the governing body of Ark Elvin Academy because I want to contribute to building and maintaining an environment that provides pupils with the best possible education they can get.

Councillor Muhammed Butt (Associate Governor & Brent Local Authority Representative)

I have lived in Brent all my life. I was born in Central Middlesex Hospital and schooled in the borough, representing my home ward Tokyngton as a Councillor since 2006. I am a father of three, and my wife is a Brent registered child-minder. Over the years, I have owned several businesses in Brent and have previously worked for BT as an engineer and for the then Department for Health and Social Security in project management.

I entered politics after becoming involved in community campaigning and advocacy for residents in my local area. I was first elected as Leader of the Council in May 2012, re-elected in May 2014 and, as Leader, I have prioritised creating jobs for local people, investing in affordable housing and protecting Brent’s most vulnerable residents.

Francis Green (Teaching Staff Governor)

I have been the head of music at Ark Elvin Academy since September 2017. I have a wealth of experience working in primary and secondary settings, both internationally and across the UK. I have an MA in Educational Leadership and completed the Teach First programme in 2012. Since I have been working at Ark Elvin, I have witnessed first hand the rapid progress that has been made and now want to ensure that progress is sustained by becoming an important communication link between staff and the governing body and focusing on staff wellbeing. In my spare time, I enjoy travelling, netball, and running and eventually aim to complete the London marathon.

Amira Modi (Ark Nominated Governor)

Amira brings over 15 years’ experience of working in professional services (big 4) and industry. During this period, she has worked as a Senior Business leader in a broad range of disciplines; notably Finance, Marketing and Compliance. 

Coming from family of teachers, Amira is familiar with the state education system and keen to apply her skills in a different environment. As a new parent, she is looking forward to understanding the current challenges in state run education. Amira is passionate and committed to improving the opportunities available to all children from all backgrounds. 

Amira is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MSc in Finance from London School of Economics. She is married with one young child.

Sandeep Patel (Parent Governor)

I have worked in software development for over 15 years, and currently work as an Agile Project Manager. I look forward to bringing the parental perspective to Ark Elvin governing body meetings as the school develops.

Faith Rose (Ark Link Governor)

I joined Ark's Education Partnerships Group (EPG) in 2015 as one of the founding members. I lead on EPG’s non-state sector strategy and the organisation’s operations. Prior to joining EPG, I worked for the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation where I worked on school health initiatives and the first development impact bond for education. Before moving to London, I worked for the Clinton Foundation on both the health and climate change initiatives. I hold a Master’s in Public Administration, specialising in public policy and management, from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor’s in political science from Queen’s University in Canada. When not travelling, I can be found listening to and watching music around east London.

Amit Shah (Associate Governor)

I am an employee of the Department for Education. I am currently involved in overseeing the successful opening of free schools across parts of South East England, as one of the team leaders of the Free Schools Group. I have previously worked within the Education Funding Agency (EFA) as the lead on academy governance and as an External Assurance auditor for the EFA, and have held responsibility for the issue and publication of the Financial Management & Governance Self-Assessment (FMGS). I advised on updates to the Academies Financial Handbook. I am a qualified accountant/auditor with considerable experience of working with academies and free schools, within academy investigations, finance, governance, risk management, audit and numerous Central Government bodies. As a former alumnus of Elvin Academy when it was the maintained school Copland Community School, the success and future of the school is something that is very important to me.

Andrea Thompson (Support Staff Governor)

I was born in Brazil and moved to the UK in 2010 to pursue a master’s degree in Carbon Management at the University of Glasgow. I concluded my degree in 2011 and moved to London in 2012, where I started working in secondary education. Currently I am the Data Manager at Ark Elvin Academy. My employment history covers 7 years in schools and 10 years in the private sector, between the UK and Brazil. I am committed to help Ark Elvin Academy achieve its high standard goals. I believe I can contribute with my diverse background and solution-focused approach.

Erica Wax (SEND Link Governor)

I have a wide range of experience in politics, the private sector and non-profit organizations. I have a life-long passion for providing skills and opportunity to young people so that they can realize their personal and professional dreams and potential. I was the co-founder of a New York-based charity called Girls Career Workshop, which exposed at-risk high school girls to a wide range of career options. I am a mentor to talented young people living and working in East London and am on the UK Advisory Board of Room to Read.

Professionally, I worked in international development and trade policy in Washington DC, as a Director of an international trade consulting firm. I was a Vice President in the Global Markets and Investment Banking group at Merrill Lynch in New York and London. I have worked on numerous political campaigns over the last 20 years. I am a Member of Chatham House, a Fellow of the Sutton Trust and a Fellow of the British-American Project. I have a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in Politics from the University of California.


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 her time in post. Governors may be re-appointed for further terms.

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