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.

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 six 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 20 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

Jonathan Clifton is a senior research fellow at the IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research), where he leads 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. He has presented his research at a number of government departments and regularly comments on public policy issues in the media, recent coverage includes the Guardian, New Statesman and Radio 4’s World at One.

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.

Vicky McKechnie (Safeguarding and SEND Link Governor)

Vicky is a Clinical Psychologist. She works at a central London teaching hospital and specialises in working with people with physical health conditions. Her role also involves teaching, training and consultancy. She is a qualified horse riding instructor and likes to get out of London to go riding as often as she can



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.