Ark Schools Board

Ark Pioneer 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 Pioneer 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 Pioneer Academy:

PDF iconArk Schools Master Funding Agreement

PDF iconArk Pioneer Supplemental Funding Agreement.pdf

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

Ark Pioneer's Governing Body

Ark Pioneer Academy's LGB may be made up of a combination of the following:

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.

Ark Pioneer Academy Principal

Two parent governors

One teaching staff governor

One non-teaching staff governor

One local authority representative from the London Borough of Barnet

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 and relevant to the school
  • A link to the senior executive team of Ark

The LGB will meet a minimum of four times per year.

Contacting the governors

The Clerk to the Governors is Sakina Marzban ( 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 the Clerk.

Ark Pioneer's Governors

Claire Barnes - Chair of Governors, SEND Link

Dr Claire Barnes is a Chartered Organisational Psychologist whose first degree was in English Literature at King’s College, University of London (1984). She worked subsequently in the advertising and media industry before completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology at London Metropolitan University (2007), an MSc in Organisational and Occupational Psychology at City University (2010) and a Professional Doctorate at Kingston Business School (2019). She is married with two grown up children and practises as a psychologist in businesses and other types of organisation.

Joshua Bailey - Safeguarding Link

Joshua is a diplomat working for the U.K. government. He has worked for a range of charitable organisations, including UNICEF U.K., The English Speaking Union and Changing Lives. He is a graduate of Durham University, where he was also a competitive debater, ranking as the best team in Europe. Joshua feels a strong sense of public service and sees Ark as a powerful driver of social change, giving opportunity to children around the world. He wants to assist in Ark’s educational mission and serve the community around him.

Michael Crooks - Parent Governor

Michael is a qualified accountant with many years of experience within the financial services sector, as well as an experienced school governor. He is keen to ensure that all pupils’ love of learning continues to be an enjoyable and memorable journey, whilst encouraging them to challenge themselves to achieve their full potential in whatever they do. He is keen to assist Ark Pioneer Academy in consistently achieving the high standards it expects from the school and pupils.

Tejal Maniar - Finance Link

Tejal is a Commercial Director in the Telecommunications industry with 13 years experience across a number of key functions including Finance, Commercial and Transformation. Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2010, Tejal's inquisitive nature navigated her towards roles which focused on problem solving; understanding business priorities, challenging the status quo and working collaboratively to achieve successful outcomes. After completing an Executive MBA in 2016 Tejal has taken on senior roles influencing strategic decisions through data driven insight. Throughout her career Tejal has been proactive in driving the learning and development agenda and is passionate about applying that to the Governor role. Health and wellbeing is also a big part of Tejal's ethos and is an interest she enjoys with her husband Ravi; highlights include completing the Inca Trail together relishing the physical and mental challenges along the way.

Anu Ralhan - Community Engagement Link

Anu has lived in Barnet since 2012 and has two young children, so making a difference in our local schools is really important to him. He earned his degree in Actuarial Science from City University (1999) and is now a fully qualified actuary. He has worked at several large UK life insurers, and is now a senior actuary at the Bank of England. He hopes his passion for maths and learning will be of help to the school body.

Aishling Ryan - Principal

Jerry Collins - Regional Director


The Register of Interests 2021-22 for Governors and Attendance Information 2020-21 can be found here:

PDF iconArk Pioneer Academy - Governor Register of Interests 2021-22.pdf

PDF iconArk Pioneer Academy LGB Attendance Log 2020-21.pdf

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