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 Bentworth 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.
The Ark Schools Articles of Association, Master Funding Agreement and Accountabilities Framework can be found on the Ark Schools website. 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 Bentworth.
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 in most non-academy governing bodies, Ark Bentworth’s governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.
Our Local Governing Body
Ark Bentworth Primary Academy’s Local Governing Body (LGB) is made up of six to ten members appointed by Ark, to include the Chair and Principal. Governors are usually people with a local connection or a particular skill or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area.
Governors are appointed/elected for a term of three years. Academy staff may not be Chair or Vice Chair of the LGB.
Ark Schools 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 Schools
Contacting the Governors
The LGB meets four times a year.
The current Clerk to Governors is Cathi Hughes (Catherine.Hughes@arkonline.org). Governors can be contacted through the Clerk, and the Parent Governor can be contacted through the school office.
Moira Cruddas (Principal)
Moira Cruddas is the Principal of Ark Bentworth.
Karin Ulukut Barrett (Chair and People Link)
I am the Chair of Governors at Ark Bentworth Primary, which has come through a period of considerable change with a dynamic leadership team constantly striving to improve the school. I have extensive experience to support the work of the Governing Body. I first became a school Governor when my child started school three decades ago. I worked in commerce and lived in different countries, but I became so interested in education that I decided to retrain as a primary teacher and went on to teach for 20 years, leading teams of staff and mentoring trainee teachers. For the past four years I have been a Local Authority Governor at Ark Academy, with specific responsibility for Safeguarding and for Special Educational Needs and Disability. As such, I try to champion the needs of pupils and families in our local community. I understand that every family wants their child’s school to offer them the best opportunities to prepare them for the future, so it is crucial to have a skilled, caring, enthusiastic and approachable team in charge of your child's education. I believe Ark will provide that. I hope to use all my experience to contribute to giving your child the best possible start in life at an Ark Academy. I also know that I need parents' support and involvement, to help us achieve that goal together with the school staff, so I look forward to working with our entire, diverse London community.
Sam Campbell (Parent Governor)
I am a teacher of MFL in a secondary school and my son attends Ark Bentworth. I have been in the teaching profession for over 10 years and do see the importance of pupils achieving highly from primary school level as it does give them a head start in secondary school. I find the school environment at Ark Bentworth welcoming and volunteer weekly.
Michael Coren (Vice-Chair and Safeguarding Link Governor)
Celine Dhorne (Ark Nominated Governor and SEND Link)
As a strategy consultant specialising in education at Cairneagle Associates, my job is to help education providers solve issues and expand. I have worked with individual schools and groups of schools in the public and private sectors, as well as with higher and further education providers, education publishers and in EdTech. I am passionate about education and would love to leverage the knowledge and skills acquired in my job to help an Ark school, while developing my knowledge of the sector further, from a school's board point of view.
Ian Emerson (Ark Nominated Governor and Extracurricular Link)
I am Assistant Headteacher: Head of Sixth Form at City of London School. I have been a Modern Language teacher since 1998, having previously worked in large comprehensive schools in the North-East of England. I am delighted to join the Governing Body to develop the links between Ark Bentworth and City of London School.
Isabel McCormack (Ark Nominated Governor and Finance Link)
Isabel started her career in finance, having completed an Economics degree at both the University of Edinburgh and University of Miami. She now works as a management consultant, specialising in helping commodities trading companies improve their efficiency and operations. Isabel grew up and was educated in central London, and is an avid proponent of providing high quality education in order to equip children to realise their potential in our fast paced environment.
Katie Robinson (Ark Nominated Governor and Fundraising Link)
An American expat, Katie has lived in London for nearly the last 10 years. She works in digital marketing at a leading agency; when she's not working or looking after her 15-month old son, she is busy setting up a charity as part of a sports agency which will help to bring sport and life skills to less fortunate kids in London. Katie has always had a keen sense of local community and volunteering since a young age. In her teens she'd travel to impoverished areas of the USA and help rebuild homes, and while living in NYC she'd spend her Saturdays mentoring high school students to get into reputable universities.
Melissa Thomlinson, nee Christey (Ark Link Governor and Curriculum Link)
I joined the Ark network in May 2014 as a Professional Tutor and English Subject Lead for Ark Teacher Training. I am a graduate in History and English from the University of York and received an MA in Educational Leadership from the Insitute of Education in 2012. I joined Paddington Academy as an English teacher in 2009 with Teach First and held a variety of leadership positions within the school before becoming Network Lead for English for the United Learning Group in 2013 I wanted to be the Ark Link Governor for the Governing Body because I felt it both exciting and rewarding to work in a group with a wide set of skills, experience and perspectives. I am eager to support the academy in promoting effective teaching and learning to ensure that the pupils achieve to the best of their ability.
All appointments are made by the Governance Manager for Ark. 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.
The register of interests and attendance for Governors can be found here: Ark Bentworth Governor Attendance and Register of Interest 2017-18.pdf