Former students – please see our alumni section, found under the 'Life at School' tab for details on how to stay in touch.


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 St Alban's Academy is part of Ark - 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 St Alban's.

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, St Alban's governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

Ark St Alban’s Academy is a Church of England school which welcomes pupils of every religion or none. The academy maintains a Christian ethos.  Ark works closely with the Birmingham Diocesan Board of Education which appoints two members to the governing body.

PDF iconMaster Funding Agreement

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement

PDF iconSt Alban's Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement


our local governing body

Ark St Alban’s Academy LGB is made up as follows:

  • Six-10 members appointed by Ark Schools, to include the Chair – usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area
  • Ark St Alban’s Academy Principal
  • One elected parent governor
  • One elected teaching staff governor
  • One elected non-teaching staff governor
  • One local authority representative from Birmingham

Ark Schools 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 six times a year. At Ark St Alban's Academy a finance sub committee (made up of the Chair, Finance Link Governor and the Academy's Finance and Resources Director) meets six times a year to support the overall work of the LGB.


The current Clerk to Governors is Kate Woods ( Governors can be contacted through the clerk 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

Mark Gregory – Principal

Jo Dawson - (Chair)

I am a mum of three and have spent almost 20 years working within the Finance and IT Functions of Global companies such as PWC, Cadbury, BAT and Jaguar Land Rover. I have worked out of London and Geneva and have travelled widely with my work. However, my home has always been in the Midlands having grown up in rural Herefordshire before moving to Birmingham to attend university. I have always been involved in voluntary work on an ad-hoc basis but wanted to commit more time going forward. I love Birmingham and strongly believe in equality and considers education to be key to this. Being a governor combines these two passions and I hope that my connections to different industries within the Midlands will also help Ark St Alban's.

Dennis Clark 

I am retired from my work as service manager in the motor trade. My interests include scouting of which I have been a member for 75 years. I am Chairman of a squadron of the Air Training Corps and I am a eucharistic minister and server at St Alban’s Church. I became a governor to help provide continuity and a link between church and school.

Mark Dalton - (Ark Link Governor, SEND Link Governor)

I joined Ark Schools in 2013 as the Network Lead for Student Achievement, having previously worked as a member of the leadership teams of two London secondary academies, including working to found and develop an outstanding school at Chelsea Academy as Assistant Principal - Curriculum, Progress and Achievement. Since completing my degree in Biological Anthropology at Cambridge University, I have trained to teach through Teach First and have enjoyed working to raise the aspirations and achievement of young people.

Irfan Khan- (Local Authority Representative, Finance Link Governor)

Irfan lives and works in Birmingham. He joined the LGB at Ark St Alban's in 2014 and uses his business skills and experience to support the school in his role as Finance Link Governor.

Prof. Peter Marsh- (Vice Chair)

I am retired and an Honorary Professor of History at the University of Birmingham. I am the biographer of Joseph Chamberlain, the mayor who turned Victorian Birmingham into the best governed city in the industrial world. I am currently vice chair of Ark St Alban's LGB having previously been chair of this Local Governing Body for ten years.

Susan Walton - (Safeguarding Link Governor)

I have been a teacher in inner city Birmingham schools for the whole of my career and so I am aware of the issues that face families in Birmingham with regards to education. Before I retired I was vice principal at Ark St Alban's Academy and for the two terms before becoming an academy acting headteacher. I have always had an interest in all kinds of sports as a participator (netball and basketball), spectator (football, rugby and speedway) and administrator (netball and basketball). I feel proud to state that I manage all the basketball finals organised by the British Basketball League. Although now retired from teaching I still work for Teach First and Schools Direct in mentoring young, new teachers to improve their standard of teaching. Retirement has also allowed me to be a governor at Ark St Alban's Academy and Chair of Governors at Ark Rose Primary Academy.

Rezvana Shaheen (Teaching Staff Governor)

I am currently an RE teacher at Ark St Albans Academy. This is my third year here and I used to work at Joseph Chamberlain College. I strongly believe everything I do here is for the benefit of our students and I wholeheartedly support the ARK ethos in getting absolute return for our kids. I share a similar background with many of the students I teach so I understand their challenges and struggles and I just want to show them that if I could do it then so can they. I am currently part of a team which is aiming to raise awareness of forced marriage. I am hardworking, committed and self motivated, having completed my degree and trained as a teacher whilst raising a family. I recognise the importance of having a goal and working hard to achieve it.

Debbie Smyth (Non Teaching Staff Governor)

I have worked in St Albans Academy since 2003. As you can imagine I have seen many changes over the years and St Alban's Academy has always been a very special place to work and has a special place in my heart. Since 2009 I have held the post of Finance and HR manager and from 2012 my post changed to Finance Manager. I have a very keen interest in the Academy as a whole and would like to contribute to its continuing success.

I am married with 2 children. My oldest daughter is at University studing Psychology and it is hoped that my second daughter will be going to University from September 2016. My husband is a driving instructor and we have always lived in Birmingham.

Mohammed Isa (Parent Governor)

I am a qualified civil engineer and graduated in 1983.I have worked in several engineering fields in Somalia.I came to the UK in February 2007 and since then i have worked as a community organiser within the Somalian community.This has motivated me to became engaged with both the school and the UK education system as a whole, which is very different from my native country. As a father i supported my children to adopt the UK education system and this was my initial engagement with the school system.This has also given me the opportunity to engage other parents who have had similar experiences like me.I have previously been a parent governor at another local school. i am confident I can bring the skills which i have learnt, and which I think are important and valuable, to the role of parent governor at Ark St Alban's.


LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest Attendance at meetings 2014/15
Mark Dalton


Ark Link  

4 out of 6

Joanne Dawson


  1. Employment: Jaguar Land Rover
  2. Trustee: St Albans Academy Trust

6 out of 6

Mark Hoban


Teaching Staff
  1. Ark employee

4 out of 6

Irfan Khan


Local Authority Rep
  1. Director: Farman Consultants Ltd (09779270) since September 2015
  2. Director: Cottersbrooke Infant & Nursery School (08936173) since April 2014

6 out of 6

Tracey Leach


Non-Teaching Staff
  1. Employment: St Alban's Academy only

6 out of 6

Nicholas Lo Polito


  1. Parish priest of St Alban's Parish Church, Highgate, Diocese of Birmingham (CofE)
  2. Officially appointed Chaplain, St Alban's Academy, Birmingham

6 out of 6

Sabah Ouaksar


  1. Also parent governor at another primary school in Birmingham

6 out of 6

Abdul Rashid




Sue Walton


Ark Nominated
  1. Related party transactions: Admissions Appeals Presenting Officer (ad hoc, paid), St Alban's Academy

6 out of 6

All appointments are made by the Governance Manager for Ark.  The term of a governor is two years, except for the chair (three years) and the Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of his time in post.