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 Brunel Primary 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 Brunel.

PDF iconArk Schools Master Funding Agreement

Ark Brunel Supplemental Funding Agreement 2013

PDF iconArk Brunel Supplemental Funding Agreement Deed of Variation 2016

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 Brunel'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.


Ark Brunel 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
  • Ark Brunel Academy Principal
  • One parent governor
  • One teaching staff governor
  • One non-teaching staff governor
  • One local authority representative from the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

Governors are appointed/elected for three-year terms.

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.


The current Clerk to Governors is Catherine Hughes ( Governors can be contacted through the Clerk.

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

If you have any governance-related queries, please contact


Dominic Smith (Principal)

Dominic Smith is the Principal of Ark Brunel Academy.

Tim Moule (Chair and Finance Link Governor)

Tim is Director of Risk Strategy at Deutsche Bank LLC. 

Stephen Hermer (Ark Nominated Governor and Vice Chair)

Stephen has been a solicitor in private practice for many years, and is currently general counsel at a leading international law firm with a focus on the technology, media and telecoms sector. Stephen has also sat on the board of a large global listed corporation, as well as being an elected (non-executive) member of the board of two law firms. He believes passionately in the importance of education and in helping young people to achieve their full potential, and has for many years been involved in the "Lawyers in Schools" initiative, a programme run by the Citizenship Foundation that is designed to give school-children the opportunity to engage in interactive discussions about their rights and responsibilities.  Stephen has the role of Interim Chair during the Chair's leave of absence.

Carly Biggam (Ark Link Governor and SEND Link)

Carly has worked for Ark Schools since 2006, initially supporting the opening of new schools as part of the projects team. She then qualified as a speech and language therapist and moved into the Education team, providing outreach support to schools in the network around SEN and speech, language and communication.

Rosanna De Lisle (Parent Governor)

Rosanna has been a parent at Ark Brunel since 2014. Her son, Arthur (Y4), learned to read and write in his first term in Reception and she has been consistently impressed by the quality of the teaching and the positive ethos of the school. In 2015-16 she volunteered to hear Y1 children read, and she would like to be more involved with Ark Brunel and the Ark network. Rosanna is a freelance journalist and interior designer. She read History at Oxford University and then taught History A level. She grew up in Notting Hill, now lives in Kensal Green and is interested in both the regeneration of the area and the preservation of its historic and multicultural character. With the Kensal Triangle Residents' Association she is campaigning to install green-man lights at the busy junction of Harrow Road and Ladbroke Grove, which is crossed by hundreds of schoolchildren every day.

Jennifer Grubb (Teaching Staff Governor)

Jennifer has been a teacher at Ark Brunel (formally Middle Row Primary) for 6 ½ years and is currently the Year 6 teacher and English Co-ordinator, as well as upper KS2 leader. Her purpose for taking on the teacher governor role was to understand more fully how the school is run from all areas. Jennifer originally hails from Canada but has lived in the UK for 12 years. Her variety of interests is broad, including: reading, music, theatre and Shakespeare.

Christopher Holder-Ross (Ark Nominated Governor)

Chris is a civil servant at the Department for Exiting the European Union. Prior to this he worked at the Delivery Unit of the Department for Education and as a strategy consultant in the private sector. He became a school governor because he wanted to be able to use some of his professional skills in a way that was useful to a local school. He is very interested in all aspects of education, having gone to schools in three different countries.

Tricia Reyes Caffrey (Ark Nominated Governor and Community Link)

As a parent, Tricia has a strong invested interest in the Ark network as a whole.She would like to see the children continue to thrive in their school environment. Not only that, but she too is committed to enhancing both student and staff experiences.

Gabriele Zuliani (Ark Nominated Governor and Safeguarding Link)

Gabriele has over 20 years of professional career in Payments, Financial Services, and Management Consulting industries. Born and raised in Italy, Gabriele has deep knowledge of Europe and South America, having spent most of his adult life among Milan, London, and Miami. Gabriele holds a BA in Business Administration, an Executive Education degree from INSEAD, and a Diploma of Music in Oboe. He is fluent in Italian, English, and Spanish. Gabriele interest in education derives from raising his two young children as well as his own innate desire to learn new things and constantly improve. He is particularly keen to make a positive impact on his local community and future generations, in order to give his small contribution to build a better future for them.

All appointments are made by the Head 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 his or her time in post. Governors may be reappointed for further terms.

The register of interests and attendance information for governors can be found here: PDF iconArk Brunel Register of Attendance and Interests 2017-18.pdf