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 Acton 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 Acton Academy.

PDF iconArk Schools Master Funding Agreement

PDF iconArk Acton 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 Acton 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.

Contacting the governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Sakina Marzban (sakina.marzban@arkonline.org). Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit the Ark Schools website.

If you have any governance-related queries, please contact the Clerk

Our Local Governing Body

Ark Acton 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.

The Principal

Two Parent Governors

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

The LGB meets four times a year. 

Please note we currently have two vacancies for parent governors on the LGB. Please see the role description as follows, which includes how to apply and who to contact if you have any questions: PDF iconArk Parent Governor Role Description - Ark Acton.pdf

Current governors

Jacqueline Russell (Chair) (Send Governor)

An experienced Director with expertise in developing young teams and in helping organisations going through rapid change. Others have described me as ‘highly driven with a strong moral purpose’ and I am passionate about working with organisations dedicated to positive social change. I have over ten years’ experience as a Director in the commercial and charitable sectors, including lottery, retail and property, and over five years’ experience as a Trustee.

Strong analytical skills enable me to identify an organisation’s strategic aims and to evaluate the projects that will fulfil them effectively. I have a reputation for getting things done and have been told that I am able to ‘balance specialist expertise and gravitas with empathy and trust’. I believe in establishing a workplace culture that runs smoothly and offers a safe but challenging environment for individuals, from students to staff, to achieve and develop.

Jacqueline Russell joined the Ark family six years ago as COO, then CEO of The Future Leaders Trust. Jacqueline helped lead The Future Leaders Trust in its merger with Teaching Leaders, to become the new organisation Ambition School Leadership. She has also been Commercial Director for Ark, helping develop sustainable business plans for schools. She became CFO of Ark in 2017.  She has been Chair of Governors since 2013.

Prior to joining Ark, Jacqueline held a number of Finance Director roles in the private sector. She qualified at Price Waterhouse and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Milena Bazelkova (Local Authority Governor)

As a manager in the adoptions service of Ealing Council, Milena has a passion for ensuring that each child is offered the same opportunity and support to achieve to their full potential. In her capacity as a local authority employee, Milena works with vulnerable young people, considering how to best support them to achieve stability and to excel in all areas of their development. Milena also offers support to their parents/carers as a way of ensuring that the child’s needs are at the forefront.  Milena is also an active participant in a teaching partnership across London.  In her collaboration with the Royal Holloway University of London Milena ensures that social work students are equipped with the knowledge, skills and confidence to practice following the completion of their degree.   

Previously, Milena was an active member of Montpelier Primary School’s PTA group and its treasurer for a few years.

Milena lives and works in West London and her 2 children are proud to attend Ark Acton and to see it grow and flourish.

Thomas Buckett (Safeguarding Link Governor)

Tom lives in Acton with his wife, two teenage daughters and dog, he grew up in West London and has made a life for himself here. In his professional life he is a partner in an Executive Search firms and spends much of his time advising and consulting with senior leaders in financial services on talent. He is passionate about purposeful engagement and affording individuals the opportunity to truly shine in what ever direction they choose.
Tom is passionate about tennis, endurance running having completed Ironman events and ultra distance marathons.

Paul Campbell (Ark Appointed Governor)

Paul was born in Newcastle and grew up in Yorkshire. He attended a local comprehensive school and then Cambridge University. After a period working in investment banking he co-founded an asset management business and held the role of CEO for fifteen years. Paul takes a keen interest in education, believing passionately that all children should have access to a quality education capable of equipping them to fulfill their potential.

Patrick Fuller (Finance Link)

Patrick Fuller has over 25 years of corporate financial experience. He is a Chartered Accountant and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accounting. 

He has held supervisory positions at Burton Group before moving to HSBC.He then moved to Infratest Burke, one of the leading market research organisations. As Group Chief Accountant he was the finance lead in the successful acquisition of market research agencies. In 2012 the Finance department won the prestigious University sector Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2012: Outstanding Finance Team Award. 

Prior to joining the University of West London in 2011, Patrick Fuller was Head of Finance and Procurement at the Learning Trust in Hackney, as well as Director and Company Secretary of the Kench Hill charity. In 2010 the Learning Trust Finance team won the Hackney Educators Awards Team of the Year 2009/10. 

He is currently a member of the Institute of Directors.

Josephine Gayton (Ark Appointed Governor)

Josephine is an experienced R&D professional who has worked in the pharmaceutical industry since 1999. She is currently the Vice President, Program Strategy and Development Operations at Aeglea Biotherapeutics, a Texas based biotech company, specializing in developing drugs for rare diseases. Before moving into the pharmaceutical industry, she gained a PhD at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, in molecular biology and genetics. She also has a BSc (1st class Hons) from Sussex University in Biology with European Studies (French) and a diploma from the Universite Joseph Fourier, Grenoble. Josie is a keen scuba diver, skier and more recently a snow boarder. She lives in London with her husband, primary age twin children and twin cats. Josephine was previously the parent governor at Ark Byron for a three year term. 

Matea Marcinko (Pupil Premium Link, Teaching and Learning Link)

Matea was born in Bosnia and came to London at the age of 3. She grew up in West London and went to local state schools in Latimer Road, Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush. She studied English Literature and Language at King's College London. She has volunteered in India and South Africa, firstly as a teacher and then as a teacher-trainer. In September 2011 she completed a PGCE with placements at Acton High and Parliament Hill. She then worked at Mill Hill County High and Ark Burlington Danes Academy. In January 2017, she joined the English Mastery team - a curriculum and teacher development programme committed to improving English teaching at KS3. In her spare time she is completing an MA in Education, Gender and International Development. She still lives in West London and is very passionate about her local area.

Amanda Wells (Sixth Form Link)

Amanda Wells has spent a career in law with Clifford Chance and Dentons law firms in real estate, planning and finance. She has advised companies on acquisitions, developments, financing, and environmental issues, and has also worked with IT start-up companies on investment, software rights, and corporate issues. 

She has advised at the Citizens Advice Bureau on education, housing, social, and employment matters. She holds a BSc in Biological Sciences from University College London, and a Masters-in-Law from Kings College London. 

She has developed her knowledge of London schools through assisting the management team at Greenhouse Sports, a charity which works in around 40 London schools and provides sports coaching, academic and pastoral mentoring. 

She believes deeply in developing and realising every child's potential, to provide a school environment which engages, motivates and inspires young people, and is strongly committed to assisting the Academy and Ark schools in achieving these goals.

Oliver Knight (Principal)

All appointments are made by the Director of Governance for Ark Schools.  The term of a governor is three years, except for the Executive Principal and Principal, who remain governors for the duration of their time in post. Governors may be re-appointed for further terms.

The register of Interests and attendance information for governors can be found here: 

PDF iconArk Acton Academy - Governor Register of Interests 2021-22.pdf

PDF iconArk Acton Academy LGB Attendance Log 2020-21.pdf