Governors at Ark Swift Primary Academy
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 Swift 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 Swift.
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 Swift'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.
Our Local Governing Body
Ark Swift Primary Academy’s LGB is made up as follows:
Six to 10 members appointed by the Ark Director of Governance, to include the Chair – usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area:
- Ark Swift Primary Academy Principal
- Up to two parent governors
- One teaching staff governor
- One non-teaching staff governor
- One local authority representative from Hammersmith and Fulham
Governors are appointed/elected for three-year terms. Academy staff may not be Chair or Vice Chair of the LGB.
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.
Contacting the Governors
The current Clerk to Governors is Cathi Hughes (Catherine.Hughes@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 Catherine.Hughes@arkonline.org
Tina Alexandrou (Chair)
Johanna Klinsky (Ark Link Governor)
I have been in education as a teacher, mentor, mentor-resident coach and Vice Principal in Chicago since 2001. In May of 2016, I became Deputy Head of Professional Development at Ark. My passion is creating outstanding schools who serve the children from traditionally under-served communities. As a Vice Principal in charge of teaching and learning in Chicago, I helped open a school that was 95% impoverished, 99% minority, and a large percentage of English language learners. As a result of our relentless efforts on improving teacher quality, the school has the highest rating in Chicago (Level 1+) and the highest gains on actual versus expected college entrance scores in the entire State of Illinois. At Ark, I am developing a professional development series on critical thinking for school leaders as well as lead professional development on school leadership, classroom instruction and management strategies.
Will Marshall (Ark Nominated Governor)
I am a recruiter for asset management companies, and have spent most of the last 10 years helping professionals further their careers across Europe, Asia and the US. I have long had an interest in life-long development and learning; I addition to my work as an Ark Schools governor I also work with 6th Form students looking at university applications. A resident of Hammersmith, I also maintain a keen interest in local issues.
Francis Marx (Finance Link Governor)
Hannah Plimmer (Ark Link and Safeguarding Link Governor)
I am part of the Recruitment team at Ark and oversee recruitment and attraction of teachers into the network. I have worked in various roles in the education industry for the past 12 years, including education recruitment and EFL. I also have family links to education, with my mother owning an Early Years provision for over 20 years.
Elizabeth Stefaniak (Teaching Staff Governor)
Elizabeth Stefaniak has been working at Ark Swift Primary Academy since 2017, where she joined as a coteacher. She has since done her teacher training and is now a class teacher and Maths Lead. She loves the ethos of the school and is extremely interested in ensuring that the school provides for the needs of all pupils; especially through the provision of high quality teaching. She would like to make a positive contribution to the continued excellence at Ark Swift.
Usama Yusuf (Ark Nominated Governor)
Usama went to an underperforming state primary and secondary school in Westminster, receiving a BA (Hons) from UCL in History, Politics and Economics. Usama is the first generation in his family to go to university and wholeheartedly believes in the opportunities that education delivers. His primary motivation for becoming a Governor stems from his own mixed experiences of state education and wants to use his voice to provide the diversity of thought that can help address the all-too-familiar challenges faced by students. Usama is currently an Investment Banking Analyst at Citi.
Daniel Upfield (Principal)
Daniel Upfield is the Principal of Ark Swift Primary Academy.
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 his time in post. Governors may be reappointed for further terms.
The register of interests and attendance information for governors can be found here: