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.

Bolingbroke 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 Bolingbroke Academy.

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

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement

PDF iconBolingbroke Supplemental Funding Agreement

Our local governing body

Bolingbroke Academy’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
  • Bolingbroke Academy Principal
  • One parent governor
  • One teaching staff governor
  • One non-teaching staff governor
  • One local authority representative, suggested by Wandsworth Borough Council

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 Tomas Thurogood - Hyde ( Governors can be contacted through Tomas 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

Claire Edis (principal)

Gareth Davies (CHAIR, Leadership & Mathematics Link Governor)

Gareth is Chair of Governors at Ark Bolingbroke. Over the last decade he has worked in Whitehall - most recently as an Executive Director in the Cabinet Office and before that as Tony Blair’s advisor on Pensions and Welfare. He started his career as a management consultant, specialising in financial services and competition policy. He has lived in Clapham since graduating from University and can often be seen Saturday mornings running – not particularly quickly – around Wandsworth Common.

Justine Aspey (Parent Governor)

Justine Aspey (BA Hons/CPE) has run her own Executive Search firm since 2001, specialising in Banking Risk. She has a child in Year 9 who joined from Honeywell Junior School where she was the Co-Chair and then Chair of the PTFA for two years. She was a Mentor for a number of years for Kids Company. Justine became Chair of the Parent Council at The Academy in September 2015 and a key objective has been the development of an infrastructure that will further enhance the support that Parents/Carers and the local Community can provide to the Academy; both in terms of fund-raising and also being the conduit between the Management Team and Parents/Carers. Justine believes that combining the Parent Governor role with the Chair role will enable a seamless flow of information that can only enhance these relations; all to the good of the Academy and its pupils.

Jane Flanagan (teaching staff governor)

Jane is Subject Leader for Humanities and a founding member of staff at Bolingbroke Academy. She studied for an undergraduate degree in Archaeology and Geography at the University of Nottingham, followed by an MSc in Social Anthropology at Oxford University. After working in Brussels teaching English as a foreign language, she joined the Teach First programme, and since then has worked in a number of different London state schools. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an assessor for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. She is passionate about education and the opportunities available to young people, and believes that every child has the right to fulfil their potential.

Alison Cohen (Teaching & Learning and literacy link governor)

I taught History in South London secondary schools for around thirty years and also brought up my family in Clapham. I also took a break from teaching to study law, which I did not practise, but went on to teach to A level. I became a governor after I retired from teaching because I wanted to stay involved with education in my local area. I was very pleased to be able to join the Bolingbroke LGB as the academy represents a new and very positive approach to secondary provision in Clapham, and I hope I can make some kind of contribution towards that.

Councillor Peter Dawson (Wandsworth council representative; send link governor)

Peter Dawson was educated at Kirkham Grammar School in Lancashire and Durham University. He worked for over 30 years with companies of the Royal Dutch / Shell Group. He held management positions both internationally and in the UK, leading multi-national Human Resources teams during periods of significant organizational change. 
Since retirement he has served as an elected councillor for the Northcote ward of Battersea and is Chairman of Wandsworth Council’s Education & Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny committee. 
Peter supported the campaigns to maintain the Bolingbroke Hospital in community use and for a new secondary school in the area. Therefore he was delighted when the Council appointed him as the Local Authority governor of the Bolingbroke Academy.

Ruth Handcock (finance link governor)

In my day job I’m Head of Finance for a major drinks brand and in my spare time I’m a Governor at Bolingbroke Academy. It’s come as no surprise to hear that my main responsibility as a Governor is providing challenge and support on the financial health of the school, both in the short term and for longer term strategic planning. 
My interest in education isn’t limited to Bolingbroke. I lived in Sierra Leone, West Africa for a year and also set up a primary school there, which I still support from the UK. Being able to provide support to both an excellent Ark Academy and a grass-roots primary school in the developing world creates a fascinating contrast.

Katy Newman (nsc governor; Behaviour & Ethos & Safeguarding link governor)

I am a mother of four school-aged children and although originally from Bristol, I have lived in the Wandsworth area for over twenty years. I am state educated and am passionate about state education. I started my working life in a large corporate as a project manager. I subsequently retrained as a TEFL teacher and enjoyed teaching before having a family. I now help run our local family business as well as a local mother/toddler group. I was a member of the parent group (the NSC) which helped set up Bolingbroke Academy and am therefore keen to maintain the ethos of the school which we helped to shape. Outside of work I am a member of a local choir and also help out at a bookshop/theatre.

Karen Robinson (non-teaching staff governor)

Karen Robinson is the Research and Development Leader at Bolingbroke academy, responsible for the reading programme, the library and careers provision. She started her career in public libraries and has worked in a number of schools supporting literacy development with parents and toddlers to sixth formers. She has been a Governor at a Primary school for the past 6 years and is now happy to take on this role at Bolingbroke Academy.

Ron Rooney (nsc governor; vice chair; sport, curriculum and fundraising link governor)

I am a local business owner and father of three children. I was involved in the Neighbourhood School Campaign to create a new secondary school in our area of Battersea. The campaign was successful resulting in the creation of the Bolingbroke Academy. My role on the Governing body is to ensure that the school is an outstanding school which gives all children an excellent education. Further I want the Bolingbroke to be the school of choice for local families and to be part of our community. To do this we need to focus on both academic education as well as creating all round opportunities for the pupils in sport, music, Duke of Edinburgh Award and so on.

James Lovell (Ark Link Governor, Science & Sixth Form Link Governor)

My role is Network Lead for Sixth Form with Ark, supporting senior leadership teams with the launch and/or development of all aspects of their post 16 provision. I also work closely with the University and Careers Success team, supporting their work in schools around student progression at post 16 and post 18. My previous job (2008-12) was as Director of Sixth Form at a large west London comprehensive school, and before that I was Head of Humanities at an academic sixth form college in north west London.

Beth Sherman (Associate)


LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest Attendance at meetings 2015/16
Justine Aspey 01/04/2016 Parent     1 out of 2
Jane Flanagan 01/09/2014 Teaching Staff
  1. Employed by Ark Academies Head of Humanities, Bolingbroke Academy
  2. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS)

5 out of 5

Alison Cohen 01/09/2012 Ark Nominated


4 out of 5

Gareth Davies 01/09/2012 Chair (former Ark Nominated)
  1. Director General, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

4 out of 5

Peter Dawson 01/09/2013 Local Authority Rep
  1. Elected councillor, Northcote Ward, London Borough of Wandsworth (“LBW”)
  2. Chairman: Education & Children's Services Overview & Scrutiny Committee, LBW
  3. Member: Finance and Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny committee, LBW; Wandsworth Admissions Forum; Wandsworth Academy & Free School Commission; Education & Standards Group, LBW
  4. Member: Conservative Party
  5. Services to Bolingbroke Academy contracted from Wandsworth Council

4 out of 5

Claire Edis 01/09/2013 Principal
  1. Trustee of the Kisma School in Kenya, Africa
  2. Member of the Association of College and School Leaders (ACSL)

3 out of 4

Ruth Handcock 01/09/2012 Ark Nominated  

3 out of 3

James Lovell 15/12/2015 Ark Link
  1. Ark Sixth Form Network Lead
  2. Parent governor (St Michael's CofE Primary School, Berkshire)
  3. Chair of Curriculum Committee

4 out of 4

Katy Newman 01/09/2012 Ark Nominated


5 out of 5

Karen Robinson 01/09/2014 Non-Teaching Staff
  1. Employed: Ark Schools (Research & development leader, Bolingbroke Academy
  2. Member: Chartered Institute of Library and Information professionals (CILIP)

5 out of 5

Ron Rooney 01/09/2012 Ark Nominated
  1. Bank of England - Project Manager

4 out of 5

Alice Saywood 21/01/2015     


Parent (former)
  1. Employed at Balancing Act (online publishing and consultancy business)

2 out of 2

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