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 Byron Primary 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.

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 Byron.

PDF iconArk Schools Master Funding Agreement

PDF iconArk Byron Primary Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement

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

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

Our Local Governing Body

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

Six to ten members appointed by the Ark Director of Governance, to include the Chair – usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area:

  • Ark Byron Primary Academy Principal
  • One Parent Governor
  • One  Staff Governor
  • One Local Authority representative from Ealing Council

Ark 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

The LGB has four clerked meetings a year and one unclerked strategy meeting.

Contacting the Governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Cathi Hughes ( Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit the Ark Schools website.

If you have any governance-related queries, please contact

Current Governors

Claire Dacam (Chair)

Claire is a Business Affairs Consultant with over 25 years' experience in the music and entertainment industry. She trained as a lawyer with the international law firm Herbert Smith and worked for them in London and Hong Kong before moving to IMG Artists where she was Director of Legal Affairs and Managing Director, Europe. Claire's freelance portfolio includes a diverse range of music and entertainment industry clients as well as community and social projects.

Aysha Binte Rabbani (Ark Nominated Governor & Community Link Governor)

Aysha is a tax associate at PwC UK. She went to school and university in London and studied Pure Mathematics at King's College London. Aysha has always had an interest in the wellbeing of the community of which schools play a huge part. She finds it rewarding to have the opportunity to utilise strengths and to play a part in the schooling system.

Tim Cadbury (Ark Nominated Governor & Finance Link Governor)

Tim works as one of the Finance Directors at ITV, supporting the advertising sales team. He qualified as an accountant at KPMG, then joined ITV a decade ago and has worked there in a variety of commercial and financial roles. He has many years of prior experience as a school governor, and looks forward to contributing to the continued success of Ark Byron. He lives in Acton with his wife and two young children.

Josephine Gayton (Parent Governor)

Josephine is an experienced R&D professional who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry since 1999.  She is currently the Vice President, Global R&D Project Management and Analytics at Ipsen Biopharm Ltd, a French speciality care pharmaceutical company.  Before moving into the pharmaceutical industry, she gained a PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, in molecular biology and genetics.  She also as a BSc (1st class Hons) from Sussex University in Biology with European Studies (French) and a diploma from the Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble.  Josie is a keen scuba diver, skier and more recently a snow boarder.  She lives in London with her husband, twin 6 year olds and twin cats. 

Rachael Gillies (Staff Governor)

Rachael is a Reception class teacher. Rachael grew up volunteering in a variety of organisations, predominantly focused on improving the lives of young people. She studied Theology at the University of Exeter and became a freelance illustrator after she graduated, illustrating e-learning courses for a local NHS training project before deciding to become a teacher through Ark Teacher Training.

Holly Harris (Ark Link Governor & People Link Governor)

Holly joins the Governing Body with a career in the education sector and, more recently, 4 years of experience working on Ark's central team. After two years supporting Ark's Heads and Principals with their general recruitment, including recruiting Priory's first members of staff, she is currently Recruitment Manager on the Ark Teacher Training team and is thrilled to be able to contribute in a different way to two of the network's exciting new schools.

Mike Lee (Ark Nominated Governor & Safeguarding Link Governor)

Mike is an experienced finance professional with nearly 14 years of working experience in the banking and charity sectors. He currently works at a Family Office as their Chief Financial Officer. The Family has deep interest in funding organisations in the education sector and through their passion Mike has developed an interest in education as well. Moreover, his experience at Alpha has given him an ongoing desire to devote his personal time to charitable causes. He hopes he can bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Governors, having grown up in Hong Kong and taught Chinese values since he was a child and then educated in the US for university.

Joanne Leonard (Ark Nominated Governor & Pupil Premium Link Governor)

Joanne is a Strategy Adviser in the Department for Education and looking forward to using that knowledge to support school activities, whilst also taking lessons from this role back to the department. She has previously worked for several years as a Strategy Consultant to retail, professional services and technology companies. Her educational background is in science, having completed a degree and PhD in biochemistry and cancer research. She is passionate about getting young people excited about science and has supported outreach events for museums across Oxford and London. Joanne has volunteered in various educational settings before, with a focus on academic tutoring and support, but this will be her first post as a governor. She is looking forward to working closely with the school and in particular finding ways to best support pupils from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

Steven Zaitshek (Ark Nominated Governor & SEND Link Governor)

Steven spent many years in the technology sector before moving into the finance sector. Steven is currently a risk analyst at alternative asset manager Marshall Wace.

Jacqueline Steele (Regional Director)

Jacqueline Steele, Ark Regional Director.

Dominic Smith (Principal)

Dominic Smith is the Principal of Ark Byron Primary Academy.

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 their time in post. Governors may be re-appointed for further terms.

The register of interests and attendance for Governors can be found here: PDF iconArk Byron Governor Attendance 2019-20.pdf