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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
A full programme of induction, training and support is provided. You can see more information, including role specifications here.
Richard has been in Senior Educational Roles for almost ten years, with a keen focus on Post-16 Education. He is committed to improving student outcomes while at the same time ensuring opportunities are afforded to aid young people’s personal development; with the ultimate goal of empowering each of them to take their place as positive and productive members of society. Richard believes in opportunity for all, and that social or economic backgrounds cannot be allowed to place barriers to achievement. Richard understands the importance of the classroom, where he himself has taught A-Level Law, but also appreciates the impact and necessity of sound operational and strategic decision making to create the platform on which all stakeholders can succeed.
Prior to being in education, Richard held management roles in the Business and Legal sectors, where he worked in industry for HSBC, Siemens and Virgin. As a Governor, Richard hopes to combine his professional and educational experience to ensure leaders at Ark St Alban’s are both supported and challenged to continually improve in all they do.
Sahra Abdi is a proud mother of 6 beautiful children.
Sahra has been working with younger children for many years especially in their early years. Sahra has been working with children in the Netherlands and in the UK. Sahra is a community worker and is someone who helps vulnerable parents. Sahra was previously a parent governor for 3 years and has been working in a charity called Girl Guides for 6 years and also owns a digital marketing business. Sahra is someone who works with schools to improve the education that is provided to students. Sahra strongly believes that every child deserves a good education and that is why she wanted to be a governor at Ark St Albans.
Aliya Begg is a long-standing attendance officer at St Alban’s and is very passionate about her role. Aliya enjoys working alongside different people to learn a variety of skills.
Aliya has three children who are at the core of all that she does and this drives her to give back to the community. In her spare time Aliya volunteers at the Birmingham Central Mosque and partakes in charity work for orphans in Pakistan. Aliya also has strong referral links to the Air Cadets and of which she was a member for over 5 years.
Aliya aspires to motivate people (parents and youngsters) in challenging circumstances and enjoys finding ways to bring about positive change.
Tara Collins-Bullock is a member of Ark St Alban’s governing body and recently took on the position of Safeguarding governor. Tara is a Deputy Headteacher at Christ Church CE Primary School, which is one of the main feeder schools to St Alban’s, and is the main reason why Tara wanted to become a governor so she could focus on the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 and foster a good relationship between both schools. When Tara manages to get some spare time, she loves spending it with her children who are 13 and 8, going on family holidays and having fun together.
Yolanda has worked in education for over 14 years in various roles. Yolanda began her career in a secondary specialist behavioural school before moving into family support and emotional wellbeing in both primary and secondary settings. Yolanda is currently Head of Years 10 & 11 with a keen interest in careers and raising aspirations. Yolanda is also the mother of a 14-year old who attends Ark St Albans and has observed her grow in confidence being part of the school community and wishes to invest her time in helping the academy and all pupils reach their true potential.
Yolanda is also a designated safeguarding lead in her current role and is passionate about supporting young people to become resilient and be able to adapt successfully to the pressures that life both in and out of school may send their way. Yolanda appreciates the opportunity to become a Parent Governor and looks forward to seeing the Academy grow from strength to strength.
Evie has worked in education for over 25 years both in Greece and in the UK, and is currently the Deputy Head Teacher at Nishkam Primary School Birmingham. Evie joined the Governing Body at Ark St Alban’s Academy in 2020 as a parent governor because she believes that giving children a great education needs a strong partnership between teachers, parents and pupils. Evie recognises the importance of providing pupils with a substantial, broad curriculum, ensuring that they are fully immersed in knowledge, vocabulary and experiences relevant to the world in which we live. In Evie's spare time, she enjoys playing the accordion, reading, and playing chess as she finds it a great mental challenge.
Calvin's current role with ARK is the Regional Facilities Manager (Birmingham, North London & Portsmouth) and is the point of contact for all estates and facilities matters across Ark’s hub of Birmingham, North London & Portsmouth schools. Calvin provides advice and support to all academies within the Birmingham, North London & Portsmouth area (including health and safety, site maintenance, waste disposal, caretaking, grounds services, security, vehicle maintenance, cleaning, catering & building works) ensuring excellent standards and value for money, most of all maintain and operating to the highest standards for pupils and staff. Regional Facilities Manager will also lead on all facilities matters in relation to the opening of new academies.
Calvin wanted to be a Link Governor to gain further knowledge how the school operates, how the strategic objectives are being pursued, how financial resources are being used and what extra support the school may need to meet its objectives. Without Link Governors, the Governing Board is totally reliant on the Headteacher, or other staff governors, for their understanding of the school. The presence of Link Governors provides an additional source of evidence upon which governing decisions can be made. This additional evidence should enable the Governing Body to better challenge information presented by the school and better support the school to meet its strategic objectives.
In his spare time, Calvin loves to travel aboard to experience how other people live and understand the different cultures. Calvin DJs at all types of events, sometimes charity function when he is able, this is because he is a lover of all types of music. A part of his fitness he plays Badminton once a week and attends the gym for a routine workout.
Dr. David Officer
Dr Officer is currently a teacher of Sociology and Psychology at Ark St Albans. He has taught in the social sciences for over thirty years at School, Degree and Post Graduate level. He has been engaged in community Education in Northern Ireland, completed a PhD at Queen's University, Belfast and for 14 years at the University of Nicosia in Cyprus. Returning to the UK in 2014, he completed a PGCE at Bristol University and taught in both secondary schools and Sixth Forms before being employed at Ark St Albans in 2019.
Canon Barrie Scott
Father Barrie is the Deputy Director of Education for the Diocese of Birmingham, with oversight of 53 primary and secondary schools. Prior to this he was Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Perry Barr for 8 years from January 2015 during which time he was the Bishop’s Adviser for the Commonwealth Games. Father Barrie was previously Honorary Assistant Priest (SSM) at St Michael’s Handsworth for sixteen years. Between 2004 and 2015, he was Headteacher of two different schools in the Midlands, having previously served as Deputy Headteacher, Head of Modern Languages and Advisory Teacher for Languages in schools across the Midlands. As headteacher of Granville Community School in Swadlincote, an 11-16 comprehensive school, Father Barrie led the school from Serious Weaknesses to becoming the best school in the area, the rise in KS3 SATS and GCSE results making it one of the top ten most improved schools in the country. Following this, he became Headteacher of Cannock Chase High School, a large 11-19 comprehensive school in Staffordshire and oversaw its successful conversion to a free-standing academy and a rise in results of 18% on GCSE headline measures and a comparable increase in A Level/sixth form results. The school also saw a rise from 4% to 20% of sixth-formers obtaining places at Russell Group universities. Father Barrie was elected to the Association of School and College Leaders National Council in 2011, and was a member of the Ofsted monitoring and the Curriculum and Standards committees as well as serving on the Academies and Direct Employers Group. Father Barrie is delighted to be a governor at Ark St Albans Academy, and to support the Headteacher and his team in continuing to make this an exceptional school for its community.
Father Gerry Sykes
Profile to follow.
Currently serving as the Executive Assistant in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, Wade has a nine-year tenure within various Professional Service roles at the institution. In addition to his primary role, Wade is actively pursuing a PgCert in Higher Education Administration, Management, and Leadership, building on the successful completion of a Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship.
Wade's professional achievements include receiving accolades such as 'Manager of the Year' and 'EDI/Corporate Responsibility Champion.' Notably, he was also a finalist for 'Hybrid Office Manager of the Year' and 'Project Champion of the Year.'
Motivated by a passion for higher education, Wade aspires to leverage his experience to support local students in realising their full potential, enabling them to transition into young adults with optimal opportunities. He firmly upholds the belief that every child's welfare is paramount, emphasising the importance of equipping young individuals with the tools and experiences necessary for success in their chosen paths.
Beyond his professional commitments, Wade dedicates his personal time to various pursuits. He actively engages in politics as the Constituency Party Secretary and Digital Campaign Lead, in addition to serving as a Director of the Trustees of St Alban's.
Sue has been a teacher in inner city Birmingham schools for the whole of her career and so is aware of the issues that face families in Birmingham with regards to education. Before Sue retired, she was vice principal at Ark St Alban's Academy and for the two terms before becoming an academy, acting headteacher. Sue has also worked with Teach First helping to improve the teaching of those young people joining the profession. Retirement has allowed her to be a governor at this school. For several years Sue has been the link governor for Safeguarding. This September, Sue changed from being Safeguarding to SEND link governor. Sue visits the academy every week, so has a good picture of what is happening, particularly with SEND. In her spare time, Sue has 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). Sue feels proud to state that she manages all the basketball finals organised by the British Basketball League.