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

The Ark Schools Articles of Association, Master Funding Agreement and Accountabilities Framework can be found on the Ark Schools website here

Our Local Governing Body

Bolingbroke Academy’s LGB is made up as follows:

  • Six to ten 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 four times a year.

Contacting the Governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Katie Bird  ( Governors can be contacted through Katie 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)

Claire has been the Principal at Bolingbroke Academy since inception to present day. Claire was previously Deputy Head at Parliament Hill School in London where she lead responsibility for the school’s technology college specialism and for raising attainment in maths and science and design technology. She also played a leadership role in the Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 curriculum and in managing behaviour and in the school’s provision of careers guidance and support. Claire has extensive experience in the areas needed for maintaining high standards of teaching and learning and is passionate about Bolingbroke Academy. 

Gareth Davies (Chair and 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.

James Baker (Ark Nominated Governor)

James has lived in Battersea since 2009 and has been heavily involved in the local community since then. A former barrister, James now works as a corporate communications consultant and lobbyist specialising in advising major global businesses on public relations, government affairs and corporate responsibility. Having grown up in nearby Richmond, James knows the area well and is also a supporter of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Support UK and the Disabled Children’s Partnership.

Natalie Barnicott (Ark Nominated Governor)

Natalie’s background is in the HR profession working in the Investment Banking and Commercial property sectors. In her role she spends a large portion of her time coaching and developing individuals within the business and ensuring individuals can maximise their potential.
She is also an active sportsperson, regular competing in running and triathlon events as well as being a ski and swimming instructor. In addition, she has recently completed an additional University degree to add to her Undergraduate degree from Warwick University.
Natalie’s own experience in education provided her with huge amount of opportunity and challenge and created a lifelong interest in learning and development of both herself and others. She is committed to ensuring all children are provided through education the opportunity to be nurtured into the best versions of themselves.

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.

Karen Robinson (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.

Daniel Thornton (Ark Link Governor)

Daniel began his career in the Foreign Office, and then worked in Parliament, HM Treasury, the Cabinet Office, 10 Downing Street and as a Director in the Department for Communities and Local Government. After leaving the civil service, he worked for Gavi, which funds immunisation in developing countries, and the Institute for Government, a charity that works to make government more effective. He joined Ark in August 2018 as Director of External Relations. Daniel has been a Wandsworth resident for many years


All appointments are made by the Director of Governance.  The term of a Governor is three years, except for the the Principal, who remains a Governor for the duration of time held in post.  Details of the attendance and register of interest for governors can be found here: Bolingbroke LGB 2018-19 Attendance and DOI.pdf