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 Blacklands and Ark Little Ridge Primary Academies are 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 Blacklands and Ark Little Ridge.
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 Hastings Primary Academies governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.
Our local governing body
From September 2016 Ark Little Ridge and Ark Blacklands have shared one local governing body. This decision was made to provide the schools with further opportunities to work more closely with each other, enabling more effective school to school support and bringing the benefits of governor skills to both schools.
Ark Hastings Primary Academies 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 Blacklands and Ark Little Ridge Executive Principal
- Two parent governors
- One teaching staff governor
- One non-teaching staff governor
- One local authority representative
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 six times a year.
Contacting the governors
The current Clerk to Governors is Kay Coleman (Kay.Coleman@arkonline.org). Governors can be contacted through the clerk and the parent governor can be contacted through the school office.
Lorraine Clarke (Executive Principal Ark Blacklands and Ark Little Ridge Primary Academies)
Micky Sandall (Chair, Finance link governor)
I joined Ark in March 2009 as Chief Finance Officer of the international charity that shares a Head Office with Ark Schools. Prior to this I was Finance Director of the Royal Society of Medicine. Originally qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen, I worked in Malawi, East Africa, for over three years. I have nearly 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and was Finance Director for the Caribbean and Middle East regions of Cable and Wireless. I also sit on Boards and/or Finance Committees of three other Ark family education charities: Teaching Leaders, Future Leaders and STIR. I have three adult children, live near Tunbridge Wells and have had a long association with the Hastings area as my parents and grandparents have lived in and around the town.
Sally Ann Hart (Vice chair and People link governor)
I am the mother of three teenage children and have lived near Rye for 17 years. I am a qualified solicitor, initially specialising in corporate finance at a London City firm and more recently in family law, following a career break to raise my children. I am currently not practising. I have been a magistrate in Hastings and Eastbourne for ten years in the adult criminal and family proceedings courts. I believe that a good, all round education, where teaching is excellent, achievement is rewarded, expectation is high, boundaries are firm and kindness to each other is celebrated, is essential for every child. I am looking forward to supporting the school in its aims in this and achieving the very best for every child. My interests include family, food, tennis, skiing and walking two very naughty Jack Russells!
Rob Edworthy (Leadership and management link governor)
I was born and grew up in Crowhurst, and attended local schools before gaining a teaching degree at Portsmouth University. I was a primary school teacher in East Sussex, Germany and Hampshire before returning to East Sussex with my wife and three sons and took up the headship of a village school. We became a fostering family and I took my second headship before becoming a senior manager in a Further Education College. I have led responsibilities in most of curriculum subjects, Special Needs, Child Protection, and Looked After Children, and I was on the Hastings Local Safeguarding Children Board. I became a Social Worker by completing a Master’s Degree, and worked with Hastings CRI in supporting ‘hard-to-reach’ families in crisis. I have been a foster father for over 18 years and I recently started my own Independent Fostering Agency. I enjoy playing the guitar, riding a motorcycle and watching rugby union.
Jeremy Gray (ICT link governor)
I have lived in the Little Ridge area for the last 14 years. I have two sons, one of whom currently attends Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy. I am a manager in the Civil Service, where I have worked for the last 16 years. Whilst being a civil servant I have been involved in project and risk management and currently run an operational delivery team. Prior to joining the Civil Service I spent time working in Holland, Belgium and France in both the construction and tourist industries. Outside of work, my time is mainly spent transporting my sons to a variety of clubs and activities.
Sarah Kowitz (Founding partner associate governor)
I moved with my family to Hastings from New York in 2004 and have been involved with a number of community issues ever since. Born and educated in London, I graduated from the faculty of English and American Studies at the University of East Anglia in 1984 and then trained as a reporter at the Kent and Sussex Courier. I later worked in Hong Kong as the Education Editor of the Hong Kong Standard before becoming a freelance writer and photographer based in Kuala Lumpur. I care deeply about the importance of primary education and believe passionately in the educational and therapeutic qualities of the natural environment.
Fiona Lewis (Safeguarding and Marketing and communications link governor)
I am a Practice Manager for Children’s Services at East Sussex County Council. My previous role was as a Child Protection Chair and Independent Reviewing Officer; which involved overseeing Child Protection and Looked After Child plans for children throughout East Sussex and brought me into contact with schools across the Country. I have also been an Associate Tutor / Lecturer on the Postgraduate and Masters Social Work programmes at Sussex University for the past 14 years. I grew up in Hastings and feel strongly that children in the town should be provided with the same opportunities and ambitions as those in other areas of the country. I have had three children and two step-children at Blacklands so feel that I have a good understanding of what the Academy has to offer, its strengths and those areas where there is the potential to improve.
James O'Donoghue (Teaching and learning link governor)
After graduating in History from Oxford University, I began my career in education as a Humanities teacher at my old secondary school, Rye College, just down the road in Rye. I then joined the Teach First programme and taught History and Humanities in inner-city Birmingham for three years. In 2012, I took my classroom experience to Uganda, where I worked for Promoting Equality in African Schools (PEAS), helping to run a large nationwide network of secondary schools. After two years delivering teacher training, school inspection and girl-education programmes, I became PEAS’ lead liaison with the Government of Uganda, helping them to explore school financing policy reform. I have brought this international experience to Ark, joining in December 2015 as a Manager in the Ark International team.
Natasha Tewkesbury (Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) link governor)
I live in Hastings and have two daughters, both of whom are at Ark Blacklands Academy. I work for Hastings Borough Council as a Senior HR Partner, and have over 15 years’ experience as a Human Resources professional in the public sector. I have a keen interest in the area and the primary academies, and believe that as a governor who offers both support and challenge, I can aid the improvement and development of the academies.
|Governor||Term dates||Term Type||Declaration of interest||Attendance 2015/16|
|Micky Sandall||01/09/2014-||Ark link||Member of Finance Committees of Future Leaders and STIR (both Ark-related organisations)
Member of Ark Schools Risk and Audit Committee
CFO of Ark, a Member of Ark Schools
|6 out of 6|
|Sally-Ann Hart||01/09/2014-||Ark nominated||Magistrate with the Eastern Bench, working in Hastings and Eastbourne Magistrates’ Courts. Currently not in paid employment. Shareholder: Perryfield Consulting.
Memberships: The Law Society; Hastings and Rye Conservative Association (Chair: Brede Valley branch); The Magistrates Association.
Elected District Councillor (Rother District Council)
|6 out of 6|
|Lorraine Clarke||10/09/2014-||Principal||Member of National College
Member of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT)
Partner owns his own building company ‘DLB'
|6 out of 6|
|Rob Edworthy||01/04/2016-||Local Authority rep||Registered manager and director: independent fostering agency (5Fostering)||2 out of 2|
|Jeremy Gray||01/09/2014-||Ark nominated||Two relatives are Ark employees (cousin and cousin-in-law)||6 out of 6|
|Sarah Kowitz||01/09/2014-||Founding partner||Trustee of the Fairlight Arts Trust and the Kowitz Family Foundation||5 out of 6|
|Fiona Lewis||01/09/2014-||Local Authority rep||Practice Manager Children’s Service East Sussex County
Associate tutor and lecturer at University of Sussex, Sussex Institute, Social Work department
|6 out of 6|
|James O’Donoghue||01/04/2016-||Ark link||Employee of Ark International
Ambassador and former participant of Teach First
|1 out of 2|
|Natasha Tewkesbury||01/09/2014-||Ark nominated||Corporate Customer Services Manager at Hastings Borough Council
Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
|6 out of 6|
|Sarah Bailey||01/09/2014-30/07/2016||Principal||6 out of 6|
|Ray Chapman||01/09/2014- 16/05/2016||Ark nominated||Amadeus
Hastings Pier Charity
White Rock Trust
|3 out of 4|
|Mark Charlesworth||01/09/2014-30/07/2016||Ark Nominated||Explorer Scout Leader
Employed at Shepherd Neame
|2 out of 6|
All appointments are made by the Governance Manager for Ark. The term of a governor is three years, except for the Executive Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of the time in post.