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.

Ark Schools Master Funding Agreement

Amended Supplemental Funding Agreement - St Albans

The Ark Schools Articles of Association and Decision Making Framework can be found on the Ark Schools website

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
  • Two parent governors
  • One teaching staff governor
  • One 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 five times a year. 

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

To see the governors' attendance register click here: ASTA 2021-2022 LGB Attendance

To see the governors' declarations of interest 2022-2023: Declarations of Interest Ark At Albans 2022-23.pdf

Contacting the Governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Fleur Sifford ( Governors can be contacted through the clerk.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit

If you have any governance-related queries, please contact

Current Governors

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.

Irfan Khan (Finance Link Governor)

A bit about myself, I have been living and working in Birmingham since 2006 after graduating from Nottingham University in 2005. I have supported many school pupils through work placements and apprenticeships throughout my engineering career. In September 2013, when my daughter started going to school, I decided to get more involved in her school through its governing body. I started as a parent governor at her infant school in Sep 2013, I am currently a community governor and Vice Chair of the Governing Body at our neighbourhood Infant School. I am also part of the Finance, Staffing and Audit sub-committee. Thrilled by my initial experience, and as part of my way of giving back to the wider Birmingham community, in March 2014, I joined St Albans Academy as the Local Authority nominated governor and support the school as Finance Link governor. I currently work in the city centre and use my business skills and professional experience to provide financial oversight and strategic direction to the school.

Susan Walton (SEND 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 also worked with Teach First helping to improve the teaching of those young people joining the profession.  Retirement has allowed me to be a governor at this school. I have for several years been the link governor for Safeguarding.  This September, I changed from being Safeguarding to SEND link governor.  I visit the academy every week, so I have a good picture of what is happening, particularly with SEND.  In my spare time, 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. 

Tara Collins-Bullock (Safeguarding Link Governor) 

I am a member of Ark St Alban’s governing body and recently took on the position of Safeguarding governor.  I am a Deputy Headteacher at Christ Church CE Primary School and we are one of the main feeder schools to St Alban’s and this is my main reason why I wanted to become a governor so I could focus on the transition from Year 6 to Year 7 and foster a good relationship between both schools.  When I do manage to get some spare time, I love spending it with my children who are 13 and 8, going on family holidays and having fun together.

Evie Glypti (Ark Nominated) 

I have worked in education for over 25 years both in Greece and in the UK, and I am currently the Assistant Head Teacher at Nishkam Primary School Birmingham. I joined the Governing Body at Ark St Alban’s Academy in 2020 as a parent governor because I believe that giving our children a great education needs a strong partnership between teachers, parents and pupils. As the Curriculum Link Governor, I recognise 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 my spare time, I enjoy playing the accordion, reading, and playing chess as I find it a great mental challenge.

Father Gerry Sykes (Diocese Link Governor)

Profile to follow.

Calvin Hay (Ark Link Governor)

My current role with ARK is the Regional Facilities Manager (Birmingham, North London & Portsmouth) I am the point of contact for all estates and facilities matters across Ark’s hub of Birmingham, North London & Portsmouth schools. I provide 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 our pupils and staff.  Regional Facilities Manager will also lead on all facilities matters in relation to the opening of new academies.

I 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 my spare time, I love to travel aboard to experience how other people live and understand the different cultures. I DJ at all types of events, sometimes charity function when I’m able, this is because I’m a lover of all types of music. A part of my fitness I play Badminton once a week and attend the gym for a routine workout.

Wade Taylor (Ark Nominated)

I am currently an Executive Assistant in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at University of Birmingham. I have worked at the University for eight years across a number of Professional Service functions. Alongside my day job, I have completed a Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeship with University College Birmingham achieving a BA (Hons) Business Management and CMI Level 6. I have won awards such as ‘Manager of the Year’, ‘EDI/Corporate Responsibility Champion’ and were integral to the success of the University’s PA Network which was recognised as ‘Internal PA Network of the Year’.

I am keen to take my experience working in Higher Education to help support students in the local area to optimise their potential and grow into young adults with the best opportunities available to them. I firmly believe that every child matters and we should ensure that our young people have the tools and experiences to thrive in whatever they choose to do.

In my personal time, I am currently going through the recruitment process to become a Magistrate, enjoy engaging with wider executive support networks, both regionally and nationally, and seeking out my next continued professional development opportunity, whether that be a Masters or something similar.

Yolanda Duckworth (Parent Governor)

I have worked in education for over 14 years in various roles. I began my career in a secondary specialist behavioural school before moving into family support and emotional wellbeing in both primary and secondary settings. I am currently Head of Years 10 & 11 with a keen interest in careers and raising aspirations. I am also the mother of a 14-year old who attends Ark St Albans and have observed her grow in confidence being part of the school community and wish to invest my time in helping the academy and all pupils reach their true potential.

I am also a designated safeguarding lead in my current role and am 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. I appreciate the opportunity to become a Parent Governor and look forward to seeing the Academy grow from strength to strength.

Father Barrie Scott (Ark Nominated)

I am the Deputy Director of Education for the Diocese of Birmingham, with oversight of 53 primary and secondary schools. Prior to this I was Vicar of St John the Evangelist, Perry Barr for 8 years from January 2015 during which time I was the Bishop’s Adviser for the Commonwealth Games. I and was previously Honorary Assistant Priest (SSM) at St Michael’s Handsworth for sixteen years. Between 2004 and 2015, I 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, I 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, I 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. I 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. I am delighted to be the diocesan 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.

Guy Rimmer (Principal of Ark St Alban’s Academy)

I have been the Principal at Ark St Alban's Academy since September 2020. Previously, I led the secondary school at Ark King Solomon Academy alongside a short time as Acting Principal at Ark Pioneer. In my career I have taught many different subjects, including English, Religious Studies, Business Studies and Geography, which I continue to teach at Ark St Alban's. I have also been a SENDCO and I have held the position of Designated Safeguarding Lead. I am determined to work alongside governors to make Ark St Alban's Academy an exceptional school for pupils to learn in, for colleagues to work in and for parents to have their child attend.