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 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 Oval Academy.
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 Academy'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 here.
Contacting the governors
The LGB meets four times a year.
The Clerk to the Governors is Louise Garcia (email@example.com). Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.
If you are interested in becoming a governor, please see here . If you have any governance-related queries, please contact the Clerk.
Our governing body
Ark Oval 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 staff governor
- One local authority representative
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
Joshua Fleming (Chair of Governors; Ark Appointed Governor)
Josh Fleming is currently Head of Strategy at the Office for Students - the higher education regulator for England, which aims to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. Josh has previously worked at Pearson, the education company, helping to develop their impact evaluation strategy and drive improvements in efficacy across their portfolio. Josh is also a governor on the Ark Putney Academy Local Governing Body.
Nicole Bell (Ark Appointed Governor)
Nicole is Assistant General Counsel at Diligent Corporation, and her work focuses on corporate & commercial law with cross border SAAS, technology & privacy being key areas of interest and focus. She is a South African, English & American qualified lawyer. Working across multiple countries and being involved in charitable organisations from a young age, has provided her with first hand experience of the important role that education plays in young childrens' lives - both in their development and in their future opportunities.
Kellie Brown (Ark Appointed Governor; Vice Chair and Inclusion Link Governor)
Kellie has over 17 years of teaching and leadership experience in London schools and is currently a Teacher Educator working for Teach First following her career as an Assistant Principal with responsibility for teaching, learning and assessment. Kellie's new role involves her supporting new teachers in their early teacher training and leadership preparation and is made possible because she uses her experience and knowledge to guide individuals through the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in conjunction with the Institute of Education of University College London (UCL).
Kellie's most recent training has been with Future Leaders on the Headship Now programme and she has a Masters in Education Leadership. Kellie has just started her PhD in Education and will be focusing on staff recruitment and retention.
Natalie Cook (Ark Appointed Governor and Safeguarding Link Governor)
Natalie has worked in events and retail, finding her most recent role as a business analyst in education technology the most rewarding, as she specialises in digital and online safeguarding systems.
Coming from a family with a particular interest in Primary and Early Years education, through running voluntary sector Pre-Schools and being a school governor, Natalie is aware of the personal rewards that you can get from being part of a school family. More than that she hopes that by being an engaged member of the governing body she can contribute to the success of the school and, above all the, children's learning experience.
She admires the commitment Ark makes to focus on communities where the biggest impact can be made and looks forward to being part of the journey.
Jonathan Duffy (Teaching Staff Governor)
Jonathan is currently a teacher in Reception at Ark Oval. He is the Computing Lead, a member of the English Faculty and a part of the Green Team, established in January 2020, in order to promote a green and eco-friendly school environment. Jonathan previously lived in Malta where he worked in company incorporation, branding, marketing and as a Process Improvement Project Manager before moving into education. In his spare time he plays the bass guitar and enjoys nature photography.
Tristan Lee (Ark Appointed Governor; Finance Link Governor)
Tristan is the Finance Director of Archerfield Homes, an eco friendly, modular development company who build houses for both open market users and for registered providers. Outside of the work sphere, Tristan is a professional golfer who played across Europe and southern Africa. Whilst at university for his under graduate, Tristan taught economics to a local sixth form which helped encourage his desire to improve all levels of education.
Geoffrey Price (Ark Link Governor)
Geoffrey joined ARK in July 2019 as Financial Controller for the Central Finance team; his previous experience included another multi academy trust, as well as being responsible for both financial and compliance audits for a number of MAT’s.
Rochelle Robinson (Parent Governor)
Rochelle has worked in Finance and Accounting for the past 10 years. From this, she possesses extensive knowledge and experience surrounding corporate budgets and audit preparation.
She currently has a child in Year 1; who is also a pupil at the school. Her daughter has special educational needs, and because of this she has established strong parent-school links with the Principal, SENCo and her daughter’s 1-2-1. Due to her personal experience, she understands everything that comes with it, so she can provide an invaluable perspective as a parent.
She has built solid relationships within the SEND department at Croydon, which opened the opportunity to take part in the Ofsted SEND review, provide feedback, and put forward suggestions on their services. Her passion is to be an advocate for parents of children with SEND and beyond.
Outside of studying, working and chauffeuring her daughter to extra curricular activities. Rochelle has a love for baking for family and friends.
Toby Martlew (Principal)
Coming late to the teaching profession I qualified in the borough of Croydon, and following some previous secondary experience sought out opportunities to make an impact with disadvantage groups at an earlier stage. This resulted in me gaining experience in two Croydon primaries before being drawn to the Ark mission and ethos, something that I believe in whole heartedly. I was fortunate enough to be appointed the Assistant Head of Ark Priory Primary Academy under Principal Jacqueline Steele. This was a hugely influential experience building the school from the ground and earning an outstanding all areas grading from Ofsted in June 2015. Following this I was appointed the Head of School and took Priory from strength to strength with 3 years of perfect phonics screening scores and some of the strongest KS1 results in London. Having had some experience with Oval in the past, when the opportunity arose to come back to the borough I was proud to be appointed the new Principal in July of 2018. Oval is a school with boundless potential and with a strong community ethos will reach its full potential.
I am a father of two boys, a keen lacrosse player, cyclist and terrible golfer.
The Register of Interests 2021-22 for Governors and the Attendance Information 2020-21 can be found here:
All appointments are made by the Director of Governance for Ark Schools. The term of a governor is three years, except the Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of their time in post.