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.

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.

Master Funding Agreement

Amendment and Restatement Agreement

Ark Bentworth Supplemental Individual Funding Agreement


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 made up as follows:

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 ( Governors can be contacted through the Clerk, and the parent governor 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

Moira Cruddas (Principal)

Moira Cruddas is the Principal of Ark Bentworth.

Karin Ulukut Barrett (Chair)

I am the new 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.

Yalda Alaoui (Finance Link Governor)

Prior to joining the Ark network as a governor at Bentworth Academy, I have been involved with the Evelyn Grace Academy in Brixton as a volunteer to assist pupils during their French and Spanish lessons over the course of 2 years.  My background is in finance and I worked for Deutsche Bank and Barclays Capital for over 6 years, responsible for foreign exchange derivatives covering banks and central banks in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2016, I co-founded the hedge fund BrookVale Capital and am in charge of the business development.  I hold a Master’s Degree in Accounting and Finance from the London School of Economics and a Master’s Degree in Finance from EDHEC Business School and am fluent in French, English, Arabic and Spanish.  I have two children and enjoy tennis, golf, yoga and have a strong interest in the contemporary and Islamic art worlds.

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)

I am a consultant Paediatrician at Imperial (St Marys Hospital) and I work daily with a multi-ethnic and complex population within a large team. I am very familiar with the social and health challenges of an inner city population and enjoy trying to meet these challenges. I very much enjoy working with the teaching and governing staff at Ark to improve the school life and experience of pupils, parents and staff. I try to learn from colleagues and use my experience to teach others.

Richard Eschwege

I am a barrister, practising mainly in commercial law. I have advised on and acted in contentious and non-contentious matters across a wide range of commercial disputes, including insurance, energy, banking, financial services, telecommunications, civil fraud, and conflicts of laws and jurisdiction. I regularly appear in the High Court and county courts.

Thomas Falkus (SEND Link Governor)

I currently live and have attended both primary and secondary school in West London.  I am a corporate solicitor working at international law firm, Weil, Gotshal & Manges.  I am Of Counsel in the Structured Finance & Derivatives Group, leading deal teams and negotiations on high value and complex financial transactions.  My role includes the strategic planning, business development and budget review for the Group.  As a senior and experience member of the team, I am also committed to recruitment, skills training and mentoring within the organisation.  I am keen to use my skills to put something back into the London educational community and to make a positive difference to the education and lives of children.  I am motivated to be a Governor to help ensure that the best education is available to all.

Tyrone Samuel (Associate Governor)

I have been working for Ark since February 2016 as the Network Lead for Primary Assessment and Data and my role heavily involves building understanding of data and assessment, both for assessment at Ark and also around existing statutory requirements.  I also have a background in data management at primary, secondary and in Management Information Systems.  I am delighted to have the opportunity to be involved with the Governing Body at Ark Bentworth, as we strive to maximise the potential ability for all of our pupils.

Joe Silvester

I am an Assistant Head at City of London school with responsibility for the quality of teaching and learning at the school. This is the second primary school at which I have been a governor. I am delighted to be able to help maintain the strong links between Bentworth and City of London School.

Melissa Thomlinson (nee Christey)

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.

Helen Williams 

I have over 30 years experience in education. I currently work for Mathematics Mastery as Director of Primary. Prior to this, I held headships in three diverse London schools. I also worked as a maths consultant and adviser for an outer London borough as well as for the National Strategies where I was Regional Director for London South. I have been a school governor before in roles as staff governor, headteacher and co-opted governor and enjoy seeing schools from this angle.  I am passionate about education, particularly for children from less advantaged backgrounds, and am keen to work as a governor in a school that shares my values of high standards of education for all.


LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest Attendance at meetings 2015/16
Lucy Cawkwell 01/09/2012;               


Ark Nominated            


  1. Sole director of Osborne Cawkwell Ltd. (tutoring agency)

3 out of 5

Richard Eschwege 01/09/2012 Ark Nominated
  1. Self-employed Barrister
  2. Director of private property management company
  3. Membership of professional legal bodies

3 out of 5

Philip Goldsmith 01/09/2012;               


Ark Nominated            


  1. DSAM Partners - Senior Analyst and Partner
  2. Trustee & member of Saatchi Synagogue

3 out of 5

Yalda Alaoui 12/05/2014 Ark Nominated
  1. Co-founder of Brookvale Capital
  2. Director of YTA Capital
  3. Member of Beaverbrook golf club and of  Queen's Tennis Club
  4. Supporter of the Marrakech biennale
  5. Shareholder of real estate and tech companies

3 out of 5

Saba Hammad 21/01/2015;                         




  1. Finance & Admin Officer

0 out of 2

Damian McBeath 19/11/2014 Executive Principal
  1. Non-profit membership: Leading the London Leadership Strategy (LLS) programme for outstanding primary schools

3 out of 5

Hannah Peat 01/06/2013;              


Ark Link            


  1. Employed as  Head of Construction at Ark
  2. Member: BSAC scuba diving club, London No. 1.
  3. Ark connection: Previously employed by Lewis Silkin (2006-2008)

0 out of 0

Michael Coren 01/01/2015 Ark Nominated


5 out of 5

Daniela Grasso                            


Teaching Staff            


  1. Employed as Inclusion Manager at Ark Bentworth Primary Academy

5 out of 5

Gary Griffin 01/01/2014;                             


Ark Nominated;            

Chair (Former)

  1. Employment: City of London Corporation as Second Master at the City of London School
  2. Governor at Naima JPS

1 out of 1

Eugenie White 14/09/2012;                             


Local Authority Rep            


  1. Board member and Director: Groundwork London; Ducane Housing Association (both unremunerated and voluntary sector)

0 out of 1

Paula Yasui 10/10/2013;                             



Non-Teaching Staff            



1 out of 1




Karin Ulukut Barrett 01/05/2016 Ark Nominated 1. National Union of Teachers ( retired member) - former primary teacher in Brent Local Authority          

2. Appointed by Brent as Local Authority Governor to Ark Academy LGB

3. Member of Brent Labour Party Executive Committee responsible for selection of intending LP Council candidates and formulation of policy pledges, Vice-Chair until Summer 2014.

2 out of 2
Joe Silvester 01/01/2016 Ark Nominated 1. Teacher at City of London School          

2. Member of ATL Union

4 out of 5
Helen Williams 10/03/2016 Ark Nominated 1. Director of Primary for Mathematics Mastery 2 out of 2
Melissa Christey 10/03/2016 Ark Nominated 1. Employee of Ark Teacher Training 2 out of 2

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