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.

Luke Mills - Parent Governor

Luke is a Managing Director at Accenture, the global management consulting and advisory business, based in London and a graduate of Oxford University. He has a passion for education in all its forms and for social mobility.

Simon Radford - Ark Link Governor, Safeguarding Link

Dr Simon Radford works for Ark as a Venture Partner, helping Ark's non-profit ventures grow and have greater impact. This builds on a professional career that has spanned across strategy consulting, venture capital investment advisory, and innovation consulting and venture building. Simon got his PhD from the University of Southern California, where he also received awards for teaching. He has a BA/MA from Peterhouse, Cambridge and a Masters of Public Administration from Brown University. He has been a Governor of Stanmore College and a committee member of the Barnet Society.

Anu Ralhan - Community Engagement Link, Finance 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



The Register of Interests 2022-23 for Governors and Attendance Information 2021-22 can be found here:

PDF iconArk Pioneer Academy - Governor Register of Interests 2022-23.pdf

PDF iconArk Pioneer Academy LGB Attendance Log 2021-22.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.