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.
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 (Catherine.Hughes@arkonline.org). 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 Catherine.Hughes@arkonline.org
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 had prior experience as a school governor before joining Ark Byron’s Local Governing Body in 2018, and is enjoying contributing to the continued success of the school. He lives in Acton with his wife and 3 children, 2 of which are pupils at Ark Byron.
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 & Vice-Chair)
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.
Daniel Pearce (Parent Governor)
Daniel has 20 years’ experience as a senior member of UK Law Enforcement, leading teams nationally and internationally. He is currently working in a senior role directing a major national digital transformation programme. Daniel studied Zoology and postgraduate
studies including an MBA. He lives locally and has 3 children at Ark Byron.
Ammani Thorpe-Beeston (Ark Nominated Governor and Safeguarding Link Governor)
Ammani trained as a physiotherapist at King’s College Hospital, qualifying in 1981. She specialised in paediatric respiratory care, working extensively in the field of paediatric and neonatal intensive care and respiratory medicine, in particular cystic fibrosis. During her 35 years at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, she was involved in many aspects of health care including clinical care, under- and post-graduate education, research, and management. She has published extensively and has frequently presented at international conferences. In 2009 she was awarded the Fellowship of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists. Recently she was involved in the implementation of significant change following the review of a clinical department and initiation of an ongoing quality improvement programme. She maintains a research interest in Cystic Fibrosis in association with the Institute of Child Health, London.
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.
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: