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.
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.
The Ark Schools Articles of Association and Decision Making Framework scheme of delegation can be found on the Ark Schools website.
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
The LGB meets four times a year.
Contacting the governors
The Clerk to the Governors is Natasha Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org). Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.
If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit the Ark Schools website.
If you have any governance-related queries, please contact the Clerk.
Beki Martin (Chair)
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.
Karthic Alagappan (Finance Link Governor)
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.
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.
Donavere Benjamin-Mahon (Community Link Governor)
I am currently reading Politics and International Relations at the University of Dundee. I have been able to develop an ample range of skills in which has been crucial in helping to develop the foundations of Foodito. I have a wealth of experience in the volunteering sector and various projects that I have been involved in.
During the summer of 2016, I volunteered at one of the largest language schools located in Madrid. I participated as a volunteer to help young Spanish students foster the love for the English language. I then headed up many departments at the You Mei Education in Shanghai such as entrepreneurship, cooking and baking and fashion to help expand the camps departmental scope. This has led to me taking up the role as Director of Special events in the summer 2020.
I have interned at Olswang Law Business program in Holborn, EIC (Education International Corporation) in Chengdu and Ark Schools, one of the largest and most successful academy chain in the UK as a Alumni engagement intern, developing and strengthening Arks alumni platform strategy.
I am a member of the British Exploring society, the oldest society of its kind by completing expeditions across Romania. Last year, I acted as PR for the Dundee University Debating society. Within this role I oversaw the digitalisation of the society which saw the biggest funding injection and student recruitment. Currently, I have founded a new start company aiming to resolve the issue of food waste.
Alison Bodha (Safeguarding Link Governor)
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 (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.
Lisa Hawker (Ark Link)
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.
Gabriela Ramos (Parent Governor)
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.
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 & Pathways & Enrichment 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.
Rebecca Curtis (Principal)
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 her time in post. Governors may be re-appointed for further terms.
The register of interests and attendance for governors can be found here: