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 Oval 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 Amendment and Restatement agreement. There are also supplemental funding agreements for each individual school in the network, including Ark Oval Primary.

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 Oval Primary Academy governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

Amendment and Restatement Agreement.pdf

 Ark Oval Primary Academy funding agreement.pdf

Our local governing body

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

  • 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
  • The Principal
  • Two parent governors
  • One teaching staff governor
  • One non-teaching staff governor
  • One local authority representative from London Borough of Croydon

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

The LGB meets four times a year.

Contacting the governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Katie Bird ( Governors can be contacted through Katie and the parent governors can be contacted through the school office.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit If you have any governance-related queries, please contact

Current governors

Alison Silke (Principal)


Ann Ewing (Chair, Pupil Premium Link Governor)

An experienced executive who has worked internationally in the energy, banking, and educational sectors, Ann is passionate about the value of education at all stages of life, including personal and professional development at work. She teaches a number of adult courses including leadership programmes within the Open University. Ann is proud to chair the Ark Oval Primary School governing body and also the Ark Paddington Green Primary School and to support the Headteachers and their teams as they take their schools forward to even higher standards of education for all pupils.

Georgina Butac (Teaching Staff Governor)

I am an enthusiastic and passionate teacher, who is committed to tackling educational disadvantage. I believe that every child, regardless of their background, should have a great education so that they can go to university or choose a career of their choice when they are older. In my spare time, I enjoy going to the gym, spending time with my family and taking on new challenges. My personal skills include: being organised and working as part of a team.

Danish Chaudhary

Previously an M&A consultant with Ernst & Young, then 6 years in asset management at Blackrock Inc, after which I started and subsequently sold a mobile app startup. Most recently I've started a company that aims to reduce the inefficiencies in the educational recruitment market, which is currently dominated by job boards like TES and Agencies. Staffably, of which i'm COO and Co-Founder, aims to put schools directly in touch with teachers, saving the school time and budget while allowing for transparency, cost effectiveness and efficiency. This in turn should allow teachers to get paid more and get easy access to job postings.

Claire Chidzey-Carn (SEND Link Governor)

Claire currently works for the Ark central Governance Team and shares Ark's values in believing that children from all backgrounds deserve a high quality education and the opportunity to pursue a career path of their choice. She has previously worked as a teacher, SENCO and in children's social care teams across London and the South East. Claire has a BA honours degree in Education and has just completed a Masters degree in Psychology. She is deeply passionate about inclusion, SEN and the role schools can play in improving young peoples' mental health and wellbeing. Claire lives with her husband and two cats in London. She is slightly obsessed with cooking, baking and all things food-related and, whenever possible, loves to get out and explore the UK countryside and wildlife.

Caroline Compton-James (English and People Link Governor)

Caroline Compton-James joined Osborne Ltd in September 2015, as Head of Strategy (Construction).  Prior to this she worked for the Cabinet Office, part of the team responsible for delivering the Government Construction Strategy.  For 14 years prior to this she worked in the Affordable Housing sector.  She places great value in public service. Her motivation for becoming a governor stems from a passionate belief that a great education should be available to all.  Caroline is a non-executive Board Member at Tower Hamlets Homes and a Board Member of The Housing Forum.

Rich Davies (Ark Link Governor)

Rich Davies is the Director of Insight at Ark Schools. He is responsible for leveraging Ark's assessment, pastoral and operational data to inform decision making throughout the organisation. Rich has previously worked as a strategy consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and has also worked with school operators in both the UK and the USA. He holds an MA Education and MBA from Stanford University (USA), as well as an MEng from Oxford University. He is a proud alumnus of Amman Valley Comprehensive School in South Wales. Rich is keen to bring his experience of strategic leadership and data analysis to help Ark Oval thrive

Elmozeene Gordon (Safeguarding Link Governor)

I am currently working a dual role within a local secondary school / college - Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College. Here I work 4 days a week as the Business and Enterprise Coordinator and 1 day a week as the Careers Development and Guidance Practitioner. I love my career and the roles I complete. I get to develop, educate, inspire and guide people every day. Empowering them into becoming the person they want to be.

I endeavour to do one fun or new thing a day. The purpose is to show my son that you never stop having fun nor be afraid to trying something new.

John Phillipson (Vice chair, Finance Link Governor)

I am chair of Governors at another primary school and advise two other governing bodies. I am lay chair of a local church council and also help to lead a drop in for homeless guests, that runs each Sunday in Croydon. I am very involved in Croydon churches floating shelter which gives overnight accommodation to the homeless over the winter months.I live in Addiscombe and when I am not doing any of the above I sing tenor and, as an integrated part of a mid life crisis, have recently started to play the bass guitar in a band! Ark Oval does an amazing job and I am very proud to be a small part of it.




LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest Attendance at meetings 2016/17
Caroline Compton-James 05/01/2016 Ark Nominated
  1. Employment: Cabinet Office, working closely with the Education Funding Agency, Capital Projects Team
  2. Member: Chartered Institute of Housing
  3. Spouse is a previous Ark employee, Ark Schools Governor at Walworth Academy and a Director of Penduka Consulting (IT consultancy)

6 out of 6

Ann Ewing 01/09/2011 Chair
  1. Employment: Associate Lecturer, Open University Business School; Freelance & consultancy work (management & leadership development); HR consultant, Ark
  2. Director: A New Direction (A.N.D.) arts & culture access charity
  3. Governor, De Montfort University, Leicester; member of Council, Royal Holloway University of London ( Non-profit)

6 out of 6

Elmozeene Gordon 01/12/2016 Ark Nominated   4 out of 6
John Phillipson 01/09/2011 Ark Nominated
  1. Chair of Governors at St John's CofE Primary School, Croydon
  2. Chair: Interim Executive Board of South Norwood Primary School
  3. Gifts/hospitality: lunch with the Secretary of state for Education at the House of Lords hosted by Academy Ambassadors (Sept. 2015)

6 out of 6

Sarah Spink (Former) 21/01/2015 - 31/03/2017 Ark Nominated


3 out of 4

Timothy Throsby                

01/04/2014 - 28/02/2017




Ark Nominated (Former)




2 out of 2


Ishia Beckford 28/11/2014 - 25/01/2017 Parent (former)   2 out of 2
Antioinette Gray 30/01/2015 - 25/01/2017 Non-teaching Staff (former)   2 out of 2

All appointments are made by the Governance Manager for Ark Schools.  The term of a governor is three years, except the Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of her time in post.