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 email@example.com
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 Valerie Oldland (Valerie.Oldland@arkonline.org). Please contact them if you have any governance-related queries, or would like to contact one of the governors.
Derek has worked in education for 13 years, starting his career as a Data Manager in a school and rising to become the Director of IT, Systems and Data at Ark. Derek has held numerous governor roles throughout his career including Chair of Governors at his children's primary school. Derek is deeply passionate about education and the impact that education has on social mobility and breaking the cycle of disadvantage and poverty. Derek's skills in education are broad, including understanding of Education data and data practices.
Following a career in the Royal Navy, John worked in the University sector for 17 years as a teaching and learning specialist and senior manager. Recent experience working within Portsmouth local government and the charity sector has given him a good understanding of the social and economic issues facing local communities and in particular the challenges facing young people. John believes that every young person deserves the best possible start to life and the opportunity to fulfil their potential; the quality of their secondary school experience plays a pivotal role in this.
Jo is a local authority nominated governor, has worked for the City council for 22 years and currently holds the role of Assistant Director - Housing Need and Supply. Through much of Jo's career she has worked in the community local to Charter School. Jo believes passionately in supporting schools within Portsmouth having raised her own children in the city.
Julie has a wealth of experience working for and with global organisations, and for small business competing in global markets. An enquiring mind and lateral thinking contribute to the unexpected insights and creativity that are clearly demonstrated in both her career and personal life. Julie's adventurous spirit has taken her to the ends of the earth, from the North Pole to Antarctica, from Everest Base Camp and Kala Pathar in Nepal, to Milford Sound in New Zealand. Her positive attitude and energy help make the possible deliverable with a belief in aim higher, we do not know what we can achieve until we try, or where we will end up until we step out.
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. Annie 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 to 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.
David has been working in the science department at Ark Charter Academy since April 2014 and previously taught in Warwickshire, Milton Keynes and Hamble. He has been governing at infant and primary schools near to his home since May 2016, participating in many governor training sessions and gaining experience as subcommittee chair for finances and vice chair of a governing body alongside mentoring new governors. Due to David's experience at Charter and passion for improving the lives of young people in Portsmouth, together with his experiences in primary school governance, he brings a useful perspective to the governing body and is well positioned to ensure that the governing body's strategic decisions are reflective of the ethos of the academy and the needs of all students so that their progress during their time in the academy can be maximised.
Simon is the father of five children; his fifth child is in year six and is a S.E.N child so Simon has some experience of S.E.N protocol. Simon is also undertaking a course on mental health in children and young people and was also a member of the Nuffield speech and language advisory group for the NHS, which provided him with an insight into speech and language therapy and what can be done to help children with speech and language concerns. Simon also has experience in fund raising and organising events, public relations and advertising for events. In his spare time, Simon enjoys providing community and school discos.
Helen has a Honours degree in Economics and Economic History and is a Chartered Financial Planner. In her 20s she taught English in Germany and the Far East and has played various training roles within Financial Planning during her career. Having recently retired after 30 years in Financial Services, she wishes to bring her deeply held belief that education and knowledge are the key to a successful person, family, economy and society. In the late 1960s her Primary School could not attract teachers and therefore from age 8 to 11 her classes were either part time, or crowd based in a hall. This left her very unprepared in the basics however on reaching senior school half a dozen very good teachers who she can still name and visualise (40+years later) meant she could catch up and thrive. It was truly life changing and having witnessed its importance, she brings with her an enthusiasm to help a school and children thrive.
Rob Wood works in cloud computing, is an Honorary Alderman and former Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. He is Vice-Chair of Governors at Ark Charter. As a strong family-oriented person, Rob knows the importance of keeping our young people safe and wishes to ensure they have the best possible opportunity to develop to their full potential. A Portsmouth City Councillor from 2010 to 2022 and Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Children and Education since 2011, Rob was previously the Cabinet Member for Children and Families between 2018 – 20, Children and Education between 2011-14 and Chair of Governance and Audit in 2010. Rob has a vested interest in improving education outcomes, as both grandchildren (and children) attended local authority schools. He has contributed to the LGiU paper on the "Middle-Tier" role in delivering Education and the local authority's role within this and has chaired and spoken at several national seminars on the subject of Education.