Open Evening for Prospective Parents

Ark Charter Academy Open Evening is on Monday 23rd September 2019 5.00-7.30pm. 

All prospective students and their parents and carers are welcome. See the Open Days drop down on the Admissions tab above for more information.


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.

Charter Academy is part of Ark - a leading education charity and one of the country's top-performing academy operators. Ark is non-denominatonal 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 Charter Academy (see below).

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

Master Funding Agreement

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement

Charter Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement

LGB Annual Impact Statement 2017-18

The Ark Schools Articles of Association, Master Funding Agreement and Accountabilities Framework can be found on the Ark Schools website here

Our local governing body

 Charter Academy’s LGB is made up as follows:

  • Six to twelve 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 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 a year.

Contacting the governors

The clerk to the governors is Valerie Oldland ( If you are interested in becoming a governor, or have any governance related queries, please contact Valerie or visit

Current governors

Charles Hindson (Chair)

Charles Hindson is an experienced school governor having supported Walworth Academy, another Ark network secondary school in South London, for 10 years, taking over as Chair of Charter governors from September 2019. Charles is active in education and business, currently as a trustee with Trinity College London, the international music and language examiner, and as a non-executive director with Diaceutics PLC, an AIM quoted company providing better insights for better treatment in personalised medicine.

John Belfrage (Finance Link Governor)

John has strong experience and understanding in many aspects relevant to running a school. He is passionate about giving back to the community and investing time and effort in the next generation. John's core skills are around understanding the human resource, financial or organisational needs of a businesses and providing guidance, and building/managing relationships to achieve desired goals. John was driven to apply for a school governor post through a desire to support and assist teachers and pupils during increasingly challenging times, with issues including sex education, drugs & legal highs, social media and decreasing budgets. During his 10 years in recruitment, John has seen many school leavers and young people have not been equipped with the skills or aspirations required to find a successful career, John wants to change this and improve & create future opportunities.

Kristian Barratt

Tian is a Widening Participation Manager with Higher Education, with a background in Careers Leadership and supporting disadvantaged and under-represented groups to access career and enrichment opportunities.

Sophie Bennett-Acres

As the Deputy Headteacher of an Ark Primary School for three years, Sophie has a passion for ensuring all children, young to old, receive a high standard of education, allowing them to go to University or into any career of their choice. Sophie attended Portsmouth University to study History and has always taught in Portsmouth Schools. She now wants to give something back to the community and believes that her skills and knowledge of teaching can help Ark Charter.

Philippa Dawson

Philippa is currently Deputy Headteacher (Inclusion) at Ark Ayrton Primary Academy. 
She previously worked for Charter Academy in a variety of roles including Designated Safeguarding Lead, SENCO and Head of Science. Prior to teaching Philippa had a varied career including positions as a Non Executive Director for Portsmouth Hostipals NHS Trust, Manager of a Citizens Advice Bureau, a Justice of the Peace and a Toxicologist. Philippa is Church Warden at St Jude's Church and has previous experience as a school governor. Philippa's reasons for becoming a school governor are to help ensure the quality of education and support available to every pupil no matter what their background or circumstance.

Jenny Lawford (Ark Link Governor)

Jenny currently works for the Ark Network as a data analyst in the central team. Prior to that she worked for another academy trust and in a variety of roles in local authorities. She has a degree in politics and a post-graduate diploma in management. Jenny is passionate about using data to drive school improvement and being a governor allows her to support others in understanding and interpreting assessment, pastoral and operational data.

Annie McCabe

Rev Annie McCabe is the Priest in charge at St Luke's Church next door to Charter Academy.
She is passionate about deepening links between the local community, church and school. 
She was a community governor in her previous parish where she saw first hand the difference good governance can make in the life of the school. Her focus as a governor will be on developing the Christian ethos and spirituality at Charter to ensure the integrity of the SIAMS recommendations
Prior ot her ordination in 2012, Annie gained a wealth of senior management in education, marketing and public engagement working in both the corporate and not for profit sector.

Emily Morey (Interim Principal)

Emily's role, as AVP: Standards and Intervention, allows her an overview of all the pathways offered at KS4 as well as the progress of every single student in the academy. It is vital to have and to maintain good relationships with staff at different levels within the academy to ensure the best outcomes for students. Emily's father was a governor at a local secondary school for over 15 years and has always emphasised the importance of the role of the governing body with regards to the successful leadership of a school and how key it was that a governing body is well balanced and represents as many stakeholders of the school as possible. It is for these reasons that Emily became a governor for Charter.

David Price

David has had a life-long and extremely varied career in the Royal Navy, however following extensive periods overseas he has always returned to Portsmouth, a city with which he has deep family ties. He is currently Commanding Officer of HMS BRISTOL, a Harbour Training Ship in Portsmouth Harbour.
He has always been passionate about youth development, both within the Royal Navy and across the education system and he has a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. Married to a teacher and with two children who are now pursuing their own careers, David now spends much of his spare time sailing and supporting several local youth sailing charities.

Bryan Stephenson (Safeguarding Link Governor)

I am currently training as an ordinand on the Portsmouth Pathway and am due to be ordained in June this year. I currently work for Portsmouth City Council in Adult Social Care, managing Adult Safeguarding and the Adult Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). I have been a qualified social worker for 16 years and have worked in children's services, mental health and substance misuse. I am also a Street Pastor in Portsmouth. In June I become a curate at St Luke's and I already help out in the prayer room and breakfast club at Charter Academy. I am passionate about helping young people reach their full potential and flourish regardless of their background and abilities.

Cllr Rob Wood (Local Authority Representative)

Cllr Wood has been a Portsmouth City Councillor since 2010 and was Cabinet Member for Children and Education 2011-14. He is currently a Party Spokesperson for Children and has a vested interest in improving education outcomes as both his grandchildren (and formerly children) attended local authority schools. Cllr Wood has contributed to the LGiU paper on the ‘Middle-Tier’ role in delivering Education and the LA’s role within this and has spoken at several national seminars on the subject of education. Prior to becoming a Councillor he spent many years in senior positions within the IT software industry, finally as a Director and Principal Technologist within a ‘Cloud Computing’ company where he currently independently consults and contract in this area as a CTO.

Cllr Wood is Chair of Trustees at Wymering Manor Trust and Vice Chair of Trustees for Portsmouth race equality network organisation (PRENO).  He became a Governor at Charter because he was keen to help and understand how to ensure both Academies and LA schools could work together to ensure the best outcomes for all our Portsmouth pupils and to help to ensure that  Portsmouth pupils to have the brightest future possible.

The register of interests and attendance for LGB governors can be found here: PDF iconAttendance and Register of Interest 2017-18.pdf

All appointments are made by the Ark Director of Governance.  The term of a governor is three years, except for the Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of their time in post.