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 Bolingbroke 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 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 Ark Bolingbroke Academy'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 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
Contacting the governors
The LGB meets four times a year.
The Clerk to the Governors is Nicola Peake (firstname.lastname@example.org). Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.
If you are interested in becoming a governor, please see here. If you have any governance-related queries please contact the Clerk.
Gareth Davies (Chair of Governors; 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.
Ron Rooney (NSC Governor; Vice Chair; Sport and Curriculum Link Governor)
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, regularly 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.
Victoria Davies (Parent Governor; Finance Link Governor)
Victoria Davies is a local parent with 3 children attending Bolingbroke Academy. As a parent Governor, she aims to engage positively with the parent body to support the school in delivering an outstanding education and being a source of pride to its students and the wider community. Victoria has 25 years’ experience in strategy, financial planning, change management and performance measurement gained at the London Stock Exchange Group and in the Information and Media industries. Victoria was educated at a comprehensive school in Nottinghamshire and studied at the University of Oxford, where she read PPE. She is a keen cyclist, Bolingbroke Parents Association and local charity volunteer and participates in numerous mentoring programmes for young professionals.
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 was Chair of Wandsworth Council’s Education & Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny committee for 10 years. He now chairs the General Purposes Committee and is Deputy Chair of the Finance & Corporate Resources committee.
Anouschka Fryer (Ark Nominated Governor; Health and Safety Link Governor)
Anouschka is the Director of a Project Management consultancy, and has worked in the construction industry for over twenty years on behalf of Asset Owners and Business Operators. She has a Masters Degree in Project Management and has led and managed teams of project professionals throughout her career. Her experience in building construction and refurbishment is extensive. Anouschka is very interested in training and education as a fundamental of personal growth, and has mentored in schools in the past. In her personal time she has a keen interest in Brazilian Jui Jitsu and fitness as well as a passion for all things art and culture.
Suzy Pett (Ark Nominated Governor)
Suzy Pett is Assistant Head at Wimbledon High, with responsibility for teaching and learning across the school. Prior to this she was Head of English at Wimbledon High and previously worked at Surbiton High. She is passionate about creating an ethos of classroom excellence. She won Pearson’s Outstanding New Teacher of the Year award in 2014, has spoken at BETT (the world’s leading education technology show) and loves to chat about literature. She has founded and continues to lead a literacy project, now in its tenth year, with schools in the Akwapim Region of Ghana. In her spare time she enjoys running round Wimbledon Common.
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.
Iandra Tchoudnowsky (Ark Nominated Governor; Safeguarding Link Governor)
Having grown up and been schooled in numerous different countries, Iandra came to the UK to finish her studies at Oxford. After nearly ten years as a solicitor in the City, Iandra moved to Moscow where she set up and has been actively engaged over the past 11 years in an education consultancy that aims to mentor students to find the right educational outcome for them. She has also chaired a charity committee that was involved with over 20 different charities. A firm believer that a solid education combined with strong support for mental health and wellbeing are the key to most children's success, Iandra has been involved with school mentoring and has an advisory role in the reform of a school in Mexico City.
Leila Tipping (Ark Link Governor)
Leila is the Commercial Director for Ark Start, and has been appointed to the LGB as the Ark Link governor.
Claire Edis (Principal)
Ms Edis has been the Principal at Bolingbroke Academy since inception to present day. Since 2012 Ms Edis has worked closely with the founding parents to ensure their vision becomes a reality. We are a courageous, compassionate community – empowering excellence. Ms Edis’s exceptional leadership and passion for social justice have been praised by Ofsted and Challenge Partners. In 2020 through the Covid-19 pandemic the Academy flipped to distance learning via Microsoft Teams, achieving 95% engagement from pupils and parents: 75% higher than the state school average.
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.
The Register of Interests 2019-20 for Governors and the Attendance Information 2019-20 can be found here: