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 Schools - 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.

PDF iconArk Schools Master Funding Agreement

PDF iconArk Priory Supplemental Funding Agreement

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

The Ark Schools Articles of Association and Decision Making Framework scheme of delegation can be found on the Ark Schools website.

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

The LGB meets four times a year, plus one strategy meeting.

Contacting the Governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Cathi Hughes ( Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit the Ark Schools website.

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.

Gemma Anderson (Safeguarding Link Governor)

Gemma is the PA to the CFO and Deputy CEO at Ark. After graduating with a degree in Drama & Theatre Studies, she began her career at Creative Youth, where she managed 120 volunteers during the International Youth Arts Festival 2014. She joined Ark in September 2014 as a PA and then moved to specialise in Learning & Development. Gemma is passionate about creating equal opportunities for all children, no matter what their background. She is a supporter of The Children's Trust and has led drama workshops for children with multiple and profound disabilities.

Tim Cadbury (Ark Nominated Governor and Finance Link)

Tim works as one of the Finance Directors at ITV, supporting the advertising sales team. He qualified as an accountant at KPMG, then joined ITV a decade ago and has worked there in a variety of commercial and financial roles. He has many years of prior experience as a school governor, and looks forward to contributing to the continued success of Ark Byron and Ark Priory. He lives in Acton with his wife and two young children.

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.

Sarah Terry (Staff Governor)

Sarah Terry is Staff Governor at Ark Priory.

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.


All appointments are made by the Head of Governance 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.

The register of interests and attendance information for governors can be found here: Ark Priory - Governor Attendance & Register of Interests 2018-19.docx