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 Evelyn Grace 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 Evelyn Grace Academy. 

Ark Schools Master Funding Agreement

 Evelyn Grace Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement

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 Evelyn Grace 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. 


Contacting the Governors 

The Local Governing Body meet four times a year. 

The Clerk to the Governors is Alleisha Furlonge-Royal ( 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. 


Our Local Governing Body

Ark Evelyn Grace Academy’s LGB is made up as follows:

  • 6-10 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
  • Evelyn Grace Academy's Principal
  • Two parent governors
  • One teaching staff governor

 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


Are you interested in becoming a parent governor and having a key influence on improving our school?

All parents, carers and guardians of children at the school are eligible to be candidates. If you would like to be considered, please complete this online form. If you would like any support completing this form or would like to use a computer in school to complete it, please contact the school office. Please make sure that when you complete the form, you add your personal statement in support of your application. Applications will be considered by the Director of Governance, in consultation with the Chair and Principal of the school, and are likely to include a meeting. Like all Ark governors, the parent governor will be formally appointed by the Director of Governance.

Find out more information from the links below:

Parent Governor Appointment Process-Flow.pdf

Parent Governor Information Pack.pdf


Evelyn Grace Academy Local Governing Body

Nilesh Goswami (Chair)

Nilesh is the Chair of Governors at Ark Evelyn Grace.

Mary Ampah (Ark Appointed Governor; Culture & Ethos Link) 

Mary grew up surrounded by violent crime and substance abuse on a council estate in London. With some guidance, good choices and charity she made it to a top 3 UK university (Imperial College London) and into one of the world's most prestigious companies where she forged a career over the last decade, working mainly with local authority clients.

Throughout her career it became glaringly obvious that there were not enough people from diverse backgrounds; if, however, young people had accessible role models then people could be empowered to change. To make the mental leap to believe that life can hold a different path.

This belief has become a driving force and reason to connect with students. Mary creates an atmosphere of augmented aspiration and mentorship for those that do not come from privilege and inspires self-belief that nothing is beyond them.

Fran Barry (Parent Governor)

Fran is a specialist tutor at Higher Education institutions including, UAL, Roehampton, Birkbeck and Central School of Speech and Drama. Fran works with student cohorts who have SpLDs (Specific Learning Differences), including dyslexia, dyspraxia, Autism and ADD. Fran currently sits on the Parents Forum at EGA, and has one child at the school. 

Donavere Benjamin-Mahon (Ark Appointed Governor; Curriculum and Personal Development Link)

Donavere is currently a Teacher of History at Ark Elvin Academy. He is passionate about improving the lives of many young people. By knowing every pupil individually and ensuring that they are held to the highest possible standards. Prior to joining Ark Elvin Academy as a history teacher he worked in Ark Central as an Venture Analyst that supported the operational and strategic capabilities of different Ventures in their quest to scale and address systemic issues facing education and in society.  Donavere’s ambition as a governor at EGA is clear; all pupils to feel safe, nurtured, supported and inspired while attending Ark Evelyn Grace Academy.

He discovered his passion for ending inequality in education and creating a fairer and brighter future for all children when he worked for You Mei Education in China. Whilst on his study abroad exchange in Hong Kong, he volunteered at a Refugee centre tutoring refugees and coaching their football team. Donavere also worked with an education NGO in Hong Kong that would run activities, programs and conferences across Hong Kong for secondary schools to help foster cultural understanding and awareness. He looks forward to changing lives and motivating students to accomplish their dreams, aspirations and hopes regardless of their socio-economic background.

Karis Campion (Ark Appointed Governor; Community Link Governor)

Karis is an academic in the Department of Sociology at the University of Manchester. Her research interests span areas of (mixed) race identity, ethnicity, education and student pipelines. Outside of her full-time job she sits on the UKCGE Working Group on BME Participation in Postgraduate Research and the Management Committee of Grove Adventure Playground in Loughborough Junction. Her professional experience in Higher Education, and personal engagement and investment in young people in her local area are what motivates her to be a school governor.

Jacqueline Cheltenham (Ark Appointed Governor; Marketing & Teaching and Learning Link Governor)

I was called to the Bar in 1992 and was in practice in Criminal Law until 1998 when I left to become a lecturer on the College of Law's (now the University of Law) Bar Course. In 2004, I was appointed Director of the Bar Vocational Course and am still leading the renamed Bar Professional Training Course.  I have an interest in equipping school age children to be in the best position to make the right educational choices about their future careers and I am delighted to be a governor of the Evelyn Grace Academy so that I can assist with this.

Graham Gayle (Teaching Staff Governor)

Graham is the Teaching Staff Governor on the LGB.

Matt Lacey (Ark Appointed Governor)

Matt is currently pursuing a dual track career, both as an actor/writer (appearing as a regular character in BBC/Netflix show 'Cuckoo' amongst other things) and working day-to-day as the Managing Director of Surveytech, an engineering equipment company based in Mitcham, Surrey. Third sector experience includes as Assistant Manager of the Brixton People's Kitchen, overseeing the logistics for one of the two emergency food distribution centres during the covid crisis and as Trustee of Universify Education, a summer school and mentoring programme aimed at opening up top universities to more students from non-privileged backgrounds.

Maureen Sheridan (Ark Appointed Governor; Safeguarding and SEND Link Governor)

All my adult life I worked in training and development, as well as being the mother to five boys I am now grandmother to thirteen and a great grandmother of two. I am the Legal Guardian of two boys and a girl who are aged between twelve and fifteen.

I believe passionately in the potential of schools to transform the lives of children and young people, and that every child deserves the best possible education. I am committed and feel strongly about improving the quality of education for our children also to support inclusive education for all members of the school community.  I have the willingness to contribute my skills, knowledge and experience to help the schools to provide the best education for all members of the school community and to improving standards in the school.

Tim Dainty (Principal)

Tim is the Principal of Ark Evelyn Grace.

The Register of Interests 2022-23 for Governors and the Attendance Information 2021-22 can be found here:

FileArk Evelyn Grace Academy - Governor Register of Interests 2022-23.docx

PDF iconArk Evelyn Grace Academy LGB Attendance Log 2021-22.pdf

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

*David Gorton, Founding Partner, continues to support Evelyn Grace Academy as an Associate Governor, from March 2015