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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 Priory 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.

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 Priory .

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

PDF iconMaster Funding Agreement

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement

PDF iconArk Priory Supplemental Funding Agreement

Our Local Governing Body

Ark Priory'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.

Ark Priory Academy's Principal

One elected parent governor

One teaching staff governor

One non-teaching staff governor

One local authority representative from the Ealing Local Authority


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

Contacting the Governors

The LGB meets five 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

Governing Body

Jacqueline Steele (Executive Headteacher)

Jacqueline Steele is the Executive Headteacher of Ark Byron and Ark Priory Academies.

Claire Dacam (Chair)

Claire is a Business Affairs Consultant with over 25 years experience in the music and entertainment industry. She trained as a lawyer with the international law firm Herbert Smith and worked for them in London and Hong Kong before moving to IMG Artists where she was Director of Legal Affairs and Managing Director, Europe. Claire's freelance portfolio includes a diverse range of music and entertainment industry clients as well as community and social projects.

Jonathan Clifton (Pupil Premium Link Governor)

Jonathan Clifton is Head of Strategic Policy at the Department for Education. He was previously an Associate Director at the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research), where he led the institute’s work on education policy. He is the author of a number of reports on education policy including Excellence and equity: tackling educational disadvantage in England’s secondary schools and A critical path: the future of higher education in England.

James Evelyn (Safeguarding Link Governor)

James has worked in primary schools for around ten years and is currently employed as Network Lead for Primary Maths at Ark.  For him, becoming a Governor is very much about providing additional support for a school from a different angle to his day to day work at Ark.  The majority of his career has been spent in inner city education; helping to improve life chances for children in these areas is his central motivation for becoming a Governor.

Julian Gallant (Local Authority Representative)

Julian is a classical pianist, conductor and composer of music for media. He has performed all over the world, with a special focus on Russia; he was CEO of Pushkin House, a centre of Russian culture in the heart of London, from 2006-2012. Julian is a Director of Ensemble Productions, which stages ballet, opera and orchestral music in London’s major venues. He has recently been appointed Artistic Director of the Ealing Festival of Music and Film.

Holly Harris

Holly joins the governing body with a career in the education sector and, more recently, 4 years of experience working on Ark's central team. After two years supporting Ark's Heads and Principals with their general recruitment, including recruiting Priory's first members of staff, she is currently Recruitment Manager on the Ark Teacher Training team and is thrilled to be able to contribute in a different way to two of the network's exciting new schools.

Richard Harris (Community Link Governor)

Richard is a qualified solicitor working as Chief Legal Officer for an international recruitment company in London.  After graduating from the University of Surrey with a degree in Sociology, Richard attended the College of Law and then completed his training the City of London.  Most of his career has been spent working fro technology and internet companies.  Ricahrd has lived in Acton since 2001 and loves the diversity and vibrant community of which the school is a critical pillar.  Richard believes that an early foundation in words and numbers combined with the encouragement to love knowledge, question and be confident are vital to the success of the child.  Ricahrd is also committed to free education as a driver for social mobility.

Chris Reinecke (Finance Link Governor)

Chris is a partner at an investment firm and previously worked for Goldman Sachs.  Having been fortunate to attend a great state school in Germany before moving the UK (where he studied Materials, Economics and Management at Oxford University), he believes that schooling is paramount for every child, no matter their background.  Chris's motivation to become a Governor at Ark Byron is to help provide access to the best possible education and contribute to the wider community from the grass roots.  He believes education is the key to enriching society overall and the most efficient and effective way of making a difference.

Kira Vermang (Parent Governor)

Kira is a lawyer at the UK communications regulator Ofcom, working primarily on broadcasting and media-related issues.  Prior to this she was a lawyer with international law firm Allen & Overy, first in Brussels and then in London.  Kira currently has two children at Ark Priory.




LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest Attendance at meetings 2015/16
Jonathan Clifton


Ark Nominated
  1. Employment:  Institute for Public policy Research.  Currently on secondment to the Department for Education
  2. Membership: London Citizens

5 out of 6

Claire Dacam


Ark Nominated
  1. Employment: Business Affairs Consultant

6 out of 6

Julian Gallant


Local Authority Rep
  1. Freelance musician / producer
  2. Trustee: Ealing Festival of Music & Film (since July 2014)
  3. Chairman: Ealing Central & Acton Conservative Association
  4. Member of Acton (Middlesex) Charities

4 out of 6

Holly Harris


Ark Nominated
  1. Employment: Recruitment Manager, Ark Teacher Training (Priory and Byron schools recruitment)

6 out of 6

Dineshi Ramesh



Ark Nominated        


  1. Employment: Board Intelligence
  2. Member:  Institute of Electrical Engineers

5 out of 6

Joshua Perry



Ark Nominated;        

Chair (Former)

  1. Director: Assembly, an Ark education technology venture
  2. Director: Factfinder Guides, Children's Travel Publishing Company
  3. Trustee: Microenterprise South Africa, Social Enterprise Investment Charity
  4. Ark connections: Sibling’s partner is working for Assembly (2015/16)

6 out of 6

Jacqueline Steele


Executive Headteacher
  1. Director: Aldridge Road Villas Ltd

6 out of 6

Joshua Lacey



Parent (former)  

2 out of 2

Natasha Harper 09/12/2015     


Teaching Staff (former) 1. Employed as Assistant Headteacher and Reception class teacher at Ark Priory 5 out of 5
Vicky McKechnie 01/09/2016 Ark Nominated 1. Clinical Psychologist employed by West London Health Trust 2 out of 2
Emma Webster 31/08/2014;        


Parent (Former) 1. Employed by Your Employment Settlement Service (YESS)        

2. Jacque Samuel Pianos (owned by mother and donated piano to academy)

3. Work closely with Heads Up

2 out of 2
Leila Tipping 01/09/2013;        


Ark Nominated        


1. Employed by Ark 1 out of 1

Ark Byron and Ark Priory share a Governing Body.  Ark Byron did not open until September 2015 and therefore attendance data is not available for 2014/15 as the first joint meeting was Autumn 1 of 2015/16.

All appointments are made by the Governance Manager for Ark Schools.  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.