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.
I am Executive Director of Facing History in the UK. I am a passionate and committed leader, with over 18 years of experience managing education and youth-oriented charities. Prior to joining Facing History, I was the CEO of the Aldridge Foundation, an educational organisation which supports a network of 10 schools in underserved communities. I have also run my own management consultancy, and worked in business development and operations for two other youth-oriented charities, the Communication Trust and Youth At Risk. I hold a B.Ed Hons in Secondary Education.
I joined Ark in 2018 as International Finance Manager. At Ark I support the International ventures. I joined Ark from KPMG, where I spent over six years specialising in statutory audits of medium to large organisations and pension schemes across numerous industries, whilst studying towards my bachelor’s degree and Chartered Accountancy qualification. I received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Finance from Durham University and am a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ACA). I am keen to use my financial expertise and professional experience to contribute to the betterment of schools as they played a huge role in my development.
I am a Teaching Assistant, Assistant Phonics Lead and SEN Support at Ark Academy Primary in Wembley. Over the past twenty years, I have worked in a variety of settings in the public and private sectors, but I have spent the last 10 years working in the education sector. I currently specialise in the teaching of Phonics and Reading, delivering Speech and Language therapies, and SEND assessment. As an alumnus of Ark Elvin Academy (when it was Copland Community School), I understand the value of the school to the community and am dedicated to ensuring its success.
Councillor Muhammed Butt
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.
Danielle is an Assistant Educational Psychologist with a strong passion for working with children and young people in education, particularly those with SEND needs. Danielle has previously worked in a variety of roles in various educational settings over her career: Early Years assistant in nurseries, Teaching Assistant and Inclusion Assistant in a pupil referral unit, Learning Support Assistant in a secondary mainstream school and an Education Outreach practitioner for a Local Authority family support service.
I am the Head of Performing Arts at Ark Elvin Academy. I have been a passionate Music teacher for 10 years both in a primary and secondary setting. I care deeply about making a difference to the lives of young people and inspiring them for the future in a creative way. Prior to becoming Head of Performing Arts at Ark Elvin, I have worked as a head of department setting up my own Music department from scratch as well as teaching Music internationally in Spain. I hold a B.Mus degree from the University of Sheffield and a master's in leadership from the University of College London. I trained to be a teacher through the Teach First graduate programme.
I am the Head of IT at Ark Schools. I have enjoyed a successful and progressive career in service delivery management, project/programme management and operational delivery within the education sector. I am inspired most when working within fast paced, pressurised environments where my extensive change management capabilities can make the difference between success and failure. I have a genuine passion for using IT to support and improve schools and look forward to contributing to Ark Elvin's journey to becoming an Outstanding school.
Irene Kwok is a CIMA member and Chartered Global Management Accountant, with several years of experience in a range of commercial and finance based leadership roles as a civil servant in the Department for Transport. She has experienced a number of education systems and firmly believes that education is a powerful tool that can transform students’ lives, whatever their starting point, background or circumstance. She is passionate about championing an inclusive culture and the needs of pupils with SEND as well as being a critical friend to ensure limited resources are maximised to deliver the best outcome for students.
I am currently a Venture Associate with the Ark Ventures Team (currently working with Now Teach & Ark Start). I am on secondment from McKinsey & Co. where I have served a variety of clients across the public, private and third sector focusing on strategy/finance, organisation/governance and transformation topics. Here I was ranked in the top 3-5% of my cohort and completed an internal rotation as the deputy chief of staff to the EEMA Managing Partner.
I have a passion for driving educational equality especially in higher education access initiatives having been involved in Rare's Target Oxbridge Program since 2018.
I am a Service Desk Analyst and am secure about the importance of organisation and attention to detail. My main responsibilities are related to Incident management and to Service Request requirements implementation. My previous experience as a Quality Manager, gave me a large experience in regards to Inbound Customer Service performance analysis and training and coaching support. I am a present parent on my children’s education and furthermore, I support my daughter in regards to her responsibility as part of the School Council team. Being Governor, at my children’s school is a way of supporting forward students, teachers and parents, as my main responsibilities will be connected to ways of improving teaching, learning and how to increase the parents' engagement with the school.