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 Dickens Primary Academy is part of Ark - 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 Dickens.
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, unlike most non-academy governing bodies, Ark Dicken's governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter - educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.
OUR LOCAL GOVERNING BODY
Ark Dicken's LGB is made up as follows:
- Six to ten 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 Dickens Principal
- One parent governor
- One teaching staff governor
- One non-teaching staff governor
- One local authority representative from Portsmouth
Ark aims to create a balanced group that will have the right skills, connections and dynamic for the LGB to work well and support 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 six times a year.
contacting the governors
The clerk to the governors is Valerie Oldland (Valerie.Oldland@arkonline.org). Governors can be contacted through Valerie and the parent governor can be contacted through the school office.
Joy Waelend (Principal)
Canon Peter Leonard (Chair)
I intended to become a teacher upon leaving school but instead worked in marketing and public relations until responding to a call to ordination in 1994. I completed a theology degree in Bristol before working in churches in Haslemere and Woking between 1997 & 2007 before retraining as a primary school teacher. From 2007 I worked in a school near Guildford before becoming Deputy Headteacher of a school in Waterlooville and then Head of School when it federated with another school. I returned to the church in 2014 becoming Canon Chancellor of Portsmouth Cathedral and am responsible for education and community engagement. I am a member of the Portsmouth and Winchester Diocesan Board of Education and a member of the General Synod of the Church of England. I live with my partner and two children in Portsmouth and enjoy fitness, kayaking, baking, walking and am a massive Doctor Who fan!
rebecca close (Safeguarding Link Governor)
I am currently an Economics teacher at a school in Portsmouth, as well as studying part time on the Educational Leadership and Management MSc at Portsmouth University. My professional interests are within pastoral care and support, where I enjoy learning from my experiences as Deputy Head of House. This role of responsibility has opened up opportunities for me to work with local children's organisations within the city. As a local resident, with an interest in education, I am hoping that as a governing team we can ensure the pupils at ARK DICKENS get the very best start to their school years.
hannah plimmer (Ark Link Governor)
Hannah is part of the Communications team at Ark and oversees the marketing and attraction for teachers and teacher trainees. Hannah has worked in various roles in the education industry for the past 7 years, including education recruitment and EFL.
She also has family links to education, with her mother owning an Early Years provision for over 20 years
mike pye (SEND Link Governor)
I was brought up on a council estate in Plymouth. I passed the 11+ exam and went to a local grammar school. I was awarded a place at New College, Oxford to read chemistry, later gaining a doctorate. After a relatively short career as a research chemist I joined the Royal Navy as an Instructor Officer, a career that lasted nearly 20 years. Towards the end of this time I felt the call to ministry and was ordained in the year 2000. I took up the post of vicar of All Saints Church in August 2007. I am married with two grown-up children. I believe that the education system served me well and am eager to put something back to help our children today achieve their full potential.
kirsty williams (teaching staff governor)
cllr rob wood (Local Authority Representative)
I have been a Portsmouth City Councillor since 2010 and was Cabinet Member for Children and Education since 2011-14. I am currently a Party Spokesperson for Children. I have a vested interest in improving education outcomes as both grandchildren (and children) attended local authority schools. I have contributed to the LGiU paper on the ‘Middle-Tier’ role in delivering Education and the LA’s role within this and have recently spoken at several national seminars on the subject of education.
Prior to becoming a Councillor I spent many years in senior positions within the IT software industry, finally as a Director and Principal Technologist within a ‘Cloud Computing’ company. I currently independently consult and contract in this area as a CTO.
I am Chair of Trustees at Wymering Manor Trust and Vice Chair of Trustees for Portsmouth race equality network organisation (PRENO).
I became a Governor because I was keen to help and understand how to ensure both Academies and LA schools could work together to ensure the best outcomes for all our Portsmouth pupils. I want Portsmouth pupils to have the brightest future we can all help support.
tracy wooloff (parent governor)
I work as a customs clearance agent and have had the same profession for many years. I specialise in overseas operations. My daughter is currently in year 5 and is succeeding in all areas of education. I personally attended this school as a child and hopefully can help make the school a great school
|LGB Name||Term Dates||Gov type and Term||Relevant declarations of interest||Attendance at meetings 2015/16|
6 out of 6
4 out of 4(appointed Jan 2106)
|Eve Dickson||Ark Link Governor||1. Ark Employee||
5 out of 6 (resigned August 2016)
|Rebecca Close||01/09/2014||Ark Nominated||
6 out of 6
|Mike Pye||01/09/2014||Ark Nominated||
4 out of 6
|Jason Chipper||01/09/2014||Ark Nominated||
3 out of 6
|Rob Wood||01/09/2014||Local Authority||
4 out of 6
|Kirsty Williams||01/09/2015||Teaching Staff||
4 out of 6
All appointments are made by the Governance Manager 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.