Governance

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 Atwood Primary 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 Ark Atwood.

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

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement 2013

PDF iconArk Atwood Supplemental Funding Agreement 2011

our local governing body

Ark Atwood Primary Academy’s LGB is made up as follows:

Six-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:

  • Ark Atwood Primary Academy Principal
  • One elected parent governor
  • One elected teaching staff governor
  • One elected non-teaching staff governor
  • One Local Authority representative from Westminster

Governors are appointed/elected for two or three year terms. 

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 Schools

contacting the governors

The LGB meets six times a year.

The current Clerk to Governors is Harriet Cox (governance.team@arkonline.org). 

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 or have any governance-related queries, please visit http://arkonline.org/governance or contact governance.team@arkonline.org.

current governors

Daniel Upfield (Principal)

Sophie Taylor (Chair)

Sophie is a Civil Servant, and currently works as Head of the Permanent Secretary’s office and Board Secretariat at the Department for Education. She has worked in government since 2006, including roles on finance, Academies policy and delivery, and as Private Secretary to successive Secretaries of State. Sophie is passionate about education and the transformative effect it can have on children’s lives. She lives in North West London, and is interested in current affairs, sports and the arts. She is bilingual in English and Spanish, and fluent in French.

Stephen Adcock (People & Recruitment Link Governor)

I have worked in challenging London secondary schools for over ten years now since joining the first cohort of Teach First in 2003. I have recently taken a Senior Leadership position at City of London Academy Islington, but before that I spent 7 years at Ark’s first academy: Burlington Danes. As Assistant Principal at Burlington Danes I was responsible for our internal and external communication, student voice and our cultural capital provision (trips and extra-curricular clubs). I recently completed a Masters in Education Management and I am committed to the long term challenge of ensuring that education plays its part in shaping a society in which all sectors can thrive.
 

Beverly Brittan (Local Authority Representative & Teaching & Learning Link Governor)

I worked for over 30 years as a librarian at London School of Economics Library in a variety of posts, but always managing large teams of people. As a result I am able to work cooperatively with a broad spectrum of people, and enjoy meeting and interacting with all ages. I ran a student forum group for many years which offered LSE students the chance to give feedback, both good and bad, on the services they received from the Library, so I am used to dealing with praise and criticism. I've been a volunteer for many years at Paddington Children's Library weekly homework club where I work with local schoolchildren to encourage and assist them to complete their homework. This has made me acutely aware of the complex nature of the challenges faced by children and their schools in inner city London and made me want to become a school governor to play a part in the delivery of the best possible education to these children. In my spare time I love all forms of exercise, particularly tennis and gym work, and am a pretty good tap dancer and kick boxer!

Sara Langham (Parent Governor)

Sara Langham is a parent of two boys in years five and two at ARK Atwood and has been actively involved in the school since its inception. She thinks Atwood is a really special school, with a fantastic sense of community as well as high academic standards, and as Parent Governor she would love to help ensure the school continues to flourish. Sara believes in the importance of a high standard of education for all, and is especially passionate about literacy and the importance of reading. Professionally, she works at a literary agency, teaches creative writing to adults and is a writer. She helps to run the parent and staff book club at school and is an active part of Friends of Atwood. Externally, she volunteers for First Story, the schools' creative writing charity.

Henry Duff (Vice Chair & Finance Link Governor)

Henry is part of the management team at Credo, a London-based strategy consultancy that advises companies and non-profits on corporate strategy and performance improvement. Prior to joining Credo, he worked for four years at ARK within its central team, primarily supporting the growth of its Academies operations and its healthcare programmes in Southern Africa. Henry has been a governor at Atwood since it opened in 2011, and believes passionately that every child has a right to an excellent education. He lives with his wife and young son in Shepherd’s Bush.

Lorna Lopes ( SEND Link Governor)

She qualified as a teacher in 2006 and holds a Masters in Museum and Gallery Education. She has worked at the children’s charity Kids Company, the not-for-profit Centre for Social Justice and the charity Only Connect. She currently works as a freelance Education Consultant and Fundraiser.

Sabina Morley (Safeguarding Link Governor)

Sabina is currently studying at MSc Education (Comparative and International) at The University of Oxford. Prior to this, she worked for Ark four years as an International Education Manager, overseeing Ark's education work in Africa. This involved advising governments and non-profit organisations on education reform to improve learning outcomes for marginalised children. 

Before Ark, Sabina worked with the NGO Merlin in East Africa, managing a portfolio of health and nutrition programmes, with a focus on new business development and monitoring and evaluation. She has also worked with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, READ International, IBM Global Business Services and has taught English in Tanzania. 

She has been a member of the Atwood governing body since 2014.

Laura Thomson (Teaching Staff Governor)

I have been Early Years Lead and Reception Teacher at Ark Atwood Primary Academy since September 2012 and in the position of Staff Governor since October 2012. I have been teaching in the UK for the past 6 years, previously working in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea. I completed my 4 year BA in American and English Literature with American History and Politics at the University of East Anglia (with a year studying at Roanoke College in Virginia). I have experience teaching abroad in Thailand and China which have helped inform my teaching especially with those who have EAL. I gained my PGCE with Merit from Manchester Metropolitan University with a specialism in Early Years Education. The key attributes I bring to the governing committee are my knowledge and experience being in the classroom and a focus on how children learn, especially in the Early Years.

Eleanor Vidal (Non-Teaching Staff Governor)

 

 

Joe Collins (Ark Link Governor & EYFS Link Governor)

Joe works for Ark's Education Partnerships Group, as a project manager responsible for Ark's policy work in a number of countries outside the UK. Over the last year his work has focused on Liberia, supporting the government to launch a PPP modelled closely on the UK Academy model. 
He has worked at Ark since 2013, before which he completed an MA in Education Planning, Economics and International Development at UCL Institute of Education. He spent five years teaching internationally, including over three years in Chile.
Having worked in education at the classroom and public policy level he remains motivated to seeing the best possible outcomes for learners, in the UK and abroad.

LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest Attendance at meetings 2015/16
Stephen Adcock 01/09/2011 Ark Nominated
  1. Deputy Director of Academies, United Learning

2 out of 5

Beverly Brittan 05/09/2013 Local Authority Rep

 

5 out of 5

Henry Duff 01/09/2011 Ark Nominated
  1. Employee  of British Gas

2 out of 5

Lorna Lopes 01/09/2011 Ark Nominated
  1. Education and Fundraising Consultant

2 out of 5

Sabina Morley 01/11/2014 Ark Link
  1. International Education Manager at Ark
  2. Member of Ark’s International Team

4 out of 5

Sophie Taylor 22/04/2013 Chair
  1. Employee: Department for Education (DfE), Deputy Director for Due Diligence and Counter Extremism

4 out of 5

Laura Thomson 20/10/2015 Teaching Staff
  1. EYFS Lead and Reception Teacher at Ark Atwood
  2. Member of NASUWT (Teachers Union)

3 out of 5

Daniel Upfield rolling Principal  

5 out of 5

Eleanor Vidal 05/01/2016 Non-Teaching Staff  

3 out of 3

Clair Dobbin 30/11/2015 Parent (former)
  1. Director of & Barrister at 3 Raymond Buildings, Gray's Inn.
  2. Husband also Barrister at 3 Raymond Buildings, Gray's Inn.
  3. Member of Middle Temple (inn of Court).

1 out of 1

Sara Langham     

 

01/12/2011;    

 

 

Parent  

4 out of 4

All appointments are made by the Governance Manager 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.