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 Soane 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.

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). Unlike in most non-academy governing bodies, Ark Soane  Academy’s governors will be able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

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 Soane Academy:

PDF iconArk Schools Master Funding Agreement.pdf

PDF iconArk Soane Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement Final.pdf


The Ark Schools Articles of Association and Decision Making Framework scheme of delegation can be found on the Ark Schools website.

Ark Soane's Governing Body

The Ark Schools board is the legal governing body for all Ark schools. The board delegates responsibility to a Local Governing Body (LGB) which is responsible for monitoring progress at an individual Ark school.

LGBs meet four times a year and have the following composition:

  • 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.
  • The Principal
  • Two parent governors
  • One teaching staff governor
  • One non-teaching staff governor

The parent and staff governors are to be appointed within the first two academic years of Ark Soane Academy opening.


Contacting the governors

The Clerk to the Governors is Vanessa Watson ( 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.

Ark Soane Academy Governors

Ann Ewing (Chair) 

An experienced executive who has worked internationally in the energy, banking, and educational sectors, Ann is passionate about the value of education at all stages of life, including personal and professional development at work. She teaches a number of adult courses including postgraduate and MBA programmes within the Open University. Ann is proud to chair the Ark Soane Academy governing body and to support the Principal and team as they launch the new school and deliver an excellent all round education for the students in their care.

Dhudi Aidid (Parent Governor)

Dhudi has an MSc in Social Work and has worked with Local Authorities in safeguarding vulnerable children and with looked after children; her role was to ensure a child or young person received appropriate care, education and health. Dhudi has collaboratively worked with many schools in order to achieve the desired outcomes for those children. Dhudi is particularly keen to ensure that all children are safeguarded well and can fulfil their full potential whatever their background, special educational needs or disabilities. Dhudi currently works for the London Borough of Ealing and coordinates long-term fostering placements for vulnerable children and achieve permanence.Dhudi served as a parent governor at the South Acton Children’s Centre, when her children attended nursery and has lived in the local area for over 20 years. She has travelled extensively to Africa, Europe and the Middle East and is able to work with people from different backgrounds. She is fluent in Russian, Intermediate Arabic and Somali.Dhudi is delighted to be given the opportunity in making a difference in the education, of not just her son, but the school as a whole. She hopes her professional experience, coupled with her knowledge of the local area, would be of great benefit, dedicating her time to be a proactive and effective school governor.

Kate Bellamy (Ark Appointed Governor; SEND Link Governor)

Kate Bellamy has recently been appointed Director of the Clore Duffield Foundation, a charity that funds arts and education projects, and will take up the role in September 2021. Kate is currently Director, Museums and Cultural Property for Arts Council England and was recently involved in the delivery of the Culture Recovery Fund to support museums across the country during the pandemic. She led the team that delivered the Mendoza Review of Museums for the DCMS (2016-2017) and was previously Head of Strategy and Advocacy at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2014-2017). Kate’s previous non-Executive roles include trustee for Pitzhanger Manor and Gallery, Sir John Soane’s former country house in Ealing.

Laura Brown (Parent Governor)

Laura Brown is a mother of four who also works full time as a family solicitor. She has been a Governor at a school in Westminster previously and very much enjoyed the chance to shape the school and pupils experience. She would now like the opportunity to do this for a school which her son attends and a new school like Soane where her input can have an immediate and long-term positive impact and shape the future of the school.

Jonathan Darby (Ark Appointed Governor; Community Engagement Link Governor)

Originally from West Wales, Jonathan trained as a lawyer before working in the 3rd and private sectors. Since 1999 he has worked for the FCO, undertaking diplomatic postings in the US and, most recently, as Deputy High Commissioner in Singapore. He also worked for the Victorian Government, Australia. He is currently on secondment to the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland, where he heads the strategic engagement teams. Jonathan has known Ealing all his life, with family in the area. He and his partner moved to Acton in 2012, enjoying the parks with their dogs and becoming active in a number of community groups. Being a governor is an opportunity to help ensure West London remains a wonderful place in the future.

Cliantha Eckersley (Ark Appointed Governor; Safeguarding Link Governor)

Cliantha is a secondary English teacher with 7 years of experience working across a range of London academies. Her roles have included Head of KS5 English, Lead Practitioner of English and Head of Year. She is currently working as an Education Consultant, supporting a range of education companies, including not-for-profit tutoring agencies and training providers. She completed her teacher training at ARK Burlington Danes, so she is delighted to be working with another ARK school in its formative years.

Aizad Hussain (Ark Appointed Governor; Finance Link Governor)

Aizad is CEO of Sprint Logistics, an e-commerce fulfilment business with members of his family.  He enjoys the service industry as it gives an opportunity to create value-added solutions and with the ever-expanding online world this keeps him on his toes.  Aizad is also Trustee of Sadat Trust, the family’s charity which focuses on sponsoring and charitable giving in developing countries.  He is Treasurer of Acton Mosque which serves 1,000 attendees (where he has also helped with technology, supporting teaching and social activities) and Governor of Derwentwater Primary School where he is on the Resources Committee.  He is married with three children and an avid Liverpool FC fan.

Matt Neuberger (Principal)

Matt Neuberger is the Principal of Ark Soane Academy.



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

Please see the Ark Soane Academy LGB Meeting Attendance Log and  Declarations of Interest report here:

PDF iconArk Soane Academy LGB Attendance Log 2021-22.pdf

PDF iconArk Soane Academy - Governor Register of Interests 2022-23.pdf