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 Blake Academy is part of Ark Schools – 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.
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). Unlike in most non-academy governing bodies, Ark Blake Academy’s governors will be able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.
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 Ark Blake Academy:
The Ark Schools Articles of Association and Decision Making Framework scheme of delegation can be found on the Ark Schools website.
Ark Blake's Governing Body
The Ark Schools board is the legal governing body for all Ark schools. The board delegates responsibility to a Local Governing Body (LGB) which is responsible for monitoring progress at an individual Ark school.
LGBs meet four times a year and have the following composition:
- Six to 10 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.
- The Principal
- One parent governor
- One teaching staff governor
- One non-teaching staff governor
The parent and staff governors are to be appointed within the first two academic years of Ark Blake Academy opening.
Contacting the governors
The Clerk to the Governors is Nicola Peake (firstname.lastname@example.org). Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.
If you are interested in becoming a governor, please see here. If you have any governance-related queries, please contact the Clerk.
Ark Blake Academy Governors
John Phillipson (Chair)
John has over 15 years’ experience of school governor roles. He is currently Chair of Governors at St Johns C of E Primary School, an outstanding primary school in Shirley, and was for a number of years, Vice Chair of Governors at Ark Oval Primary School. John has been designated by the Department of Education as a National Leader of Governance and mentors a number of other chairs who are either new to the role or facing challenging situations. John regularly delivers training for Governors and teachers, both for the local authority and independent education organisations.
John has a long association with the local area. His great-great grandmother was once the oldest publican in Croydon! John is senior partner of a local firm of Chartered Surveyors and a director of a number of other companies. He is involved in two local projects to support the homeless and also sings in a number of local choirs when time allows.
John is passionate about the opportunities that first rate education can give every single child and has enjoyed working with Ark for the last eight years as he feels they share that same passion. John feels it is a huge privilege to lead the Local Governing Body at Ark Blake and hopes to make a positive difference to every student who attends.
Aderonke Akintunde (Ark Nominated Governor; Safeguarding Link Governor)
Ronke is passionate about young people and children. Her love for passing on knowledge led her into education, where she taught for nine years. During her time at a London school she saw a need for children to experience fun learning opportunities not readily available. Ronke went on to set up several initiatives in the school, some of which are still in place today. As a class teacher, she has a way of personalising learning experiences for the children. Ronke is a big believer in ‘every child can succeed’ and should not be held back but given the tools to succeed. One of her favourite phrases is: ‘you can – let’s try again’. This was seen in the huge progress her EAL pupils made.
In 2010, Ronke founded I Am Who I Am, a youth club for 11- 14 year olds. This came about because of her desire to offer opportunities to young people in her neighbourhood.
Ronke grew up in West Africa with her Nigerian father and English mother. She has many fond memories of her childhood and is proud to be of dual heritage. As a person of dual heritage, she is keen on young people taking pride in their heritage and valuing it as an important part of their identity, which is to be celebrated.
Ronke’s first degree is in Information and Business Systems Technology. She loves challenges and new experiences.
Alan Campbell (Ark Nominated Governor; SEND Link Governor)
Alan has been teaching in London since 1996 in a range of mainstream and special school settings. He has been Headteacher of Cambridge School, a secondary special needs provision, in Shepherd’s Bush since 2015. Under Alan’s leadership the school has improved significantly as recognised in Ofsted and Challenge Partners reports. Alan was previously Head of School at William Morris School in Walthamstow , steering it from Special Measures to Good in 3 years. Alan is a passionate advocate for SEND students and he dedicates his energy and expertise to ensure that the curriculum, accreditation opportunities and pastoral support in schools combine to ensure that SEND students can achieve their potential to live fulfilling lives as active citizens. Alan is also a tutor on national NPQML and NPQSL programmes and is determined to create a cohort of excellent school leaders of the future.
Benjamin Lloyd (Ark Nominated Governor; Finance and Resources Link Governor)
Ben works as a strategy director for Barclays, having previously been a management consultant for Ernst & Young. Key specialities include Organisational design and effectiveness. He is a chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) and holds an MBA (Warwick). He has spent 10 years as a governor and chair in the primary sector before joining Ark in 2020. Ben is hugely excited about joining Ark Blake from its inception and the opportunities it will bring for its pupils.
Lekha Sharma (Ark Nominated Governor)
Lekha Sharma is the Vice Principal- Quality of Education at Ark Oval Primary Academy, Author of ‘Curriculum to Classroom’ and a Postgraduate student at Oxford University studying Learning and Teaching. She’s passionate about developing high quality teaching and learning and ensuring the best possible outcomes for all pupils.
Amy Tweddle (Ark Link Governor; Curriculum Link Governor)
Amy is a Research Fellow at Ambition Institute where she specialises in curriculum, working with school leaders on curriculum reform at a subject and whole-school level, as well as tutoring on the Master’s in Expert Teaching Programme. Prior to this, Amy held a number of leadership roles in schools across London (including in Croydon) and in Dubai, most notably as Director of Learning and Head of English for five years, for a newly opened multi-academy trust school – building the department from its inception. Amy has also been an examiner for both AQA and Edexcel and is a Teach First alumni, representing UK education at the global Teach For All conference. Prior to working in education, Amy worked in marketing and public relations, where she oversaw the corporate communications for a number of high-profile businesses and charities.
Peter Shaw (Principal)
Peter is the Principal of Ark Blake Academy.
All appointments are made by Ark's 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.
Please see the Declarations of Interest report here: Ark Blake Academy - Governor Register of Interests 2020-21.pdf