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.

PDF icon Master Funding Agreement

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement

Charter Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement

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 ( Governors can be contacted through Valerie and the parent governor can be contacted through the school office.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit If you have any governance-related queries, please contact

Current governors

The Ven Dr Joanne Grenfell (Chair)

The Archdeacon of Portsdown in the Diocese of Portsmouth and responsible for assisting the Bishop in a range of mission, social, educational, and administrative areas of work. Previously a Director of Ordinands (working with people exploring a vocation to ordained ministry) and a Residentiary Canon in a Cathedral, as well as parish priest in inner city and outer housing estate parishes. A lecturer in English before ordination, published in a variety of areas, including sixteenth century literature, pastoral theology, and biblical commentary, as well as writing column articles for the church press.   Joanne has previous experience as a school governor and chair of governors in Liverpool and Sheffield.

Bradley Albuery (Diocese Representative,Vice Chair and Safeguarding Link Governor)

Before becoming a Governor of Charter Academy, also a Governor of St Luke's School. A Solicitor and Partner in Blake Lapthorn, specialising in the investigation and presentation of allegations of misconduct and lack of competence against individuals in the education, healthcare and accountancy sectors. A member of the PCC of St Peter's and St Luke's Church. Bradley is married to a teacher and has two daughters at University.  The reason for becoming (and remaining) a Governor is to assist the School in ensuring all children, whatever their background and current circumstances, have access to a good education to help them reach their potential.

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.

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.

Richard Clarke (Parent Governor)

A nuclear engineer with the Royal Navy and submariner for over 25 years and currently working in Navy Command HQ, Whale Island.  Also a Cub Scout leader with the 1st Portsmouth Scout Group.  Richard has four children and lives in Southsea.  As a result of career moves, his family has experience of the different schooling systems from state primary and secondary to boarding all through schools.  The eldest children have been through 6th form / 6th form college and on to university, providing a better understanding of the pressures on children moving from school to further and higher education and able to bring some of this experience to the Charter Academy LGB.  Richard is passionate about education and believes that each child should be afforded the best environment and mentoring to allow them to reach their full potential despite any external disadvantages.  Being a Governor allows him to repay some of the time to the education system and community that has seen his children succeed.

Emily Morey (Teaching Staff Governor)

Currently one of the staff governors and represent the teaching staff on the governing body.  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.

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.