Academies are schools funded directly by the government (rather than via the local authority). They have more freedom to innovate. However, academies are still accountable to the Secretary of State for Education. To share best practice and maximise the use of resources and best practice, many are part of multi-academy trusts – a network of schools under one legal body.

Ark Alexandra 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. All our schools are non-selective.

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.

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

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

Ark Alexandra Academy’s LGB is currently being constituted, but it is likely to be made up of six to twelve members appointed by Ark, including the Chair. These are usually people with a local connections or interests who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area and will include those who were governors at Helenswood and William Parker. There will be a governor appointed by the Diocese. The Executive Principal and Principal of the school will attend LGB meetings.

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 outcomes.

Clifford Smith - Chair of Governors

  • Role: Chair
  • Link: Curriculum

I have a background in finance and was formerly a governor at Ark Helenswood and chair of governors at Ark William Parker. Prior to that I was a governor and chair of governors in maintained schools in East Sussex for a number of years. I live locally, my sons were educated at William Parker and my daughter at Helenswood.