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 Burlington Danes 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 Burlington Danes.

Ark Schools Master Funding Agreement

BDA Supplemental Funding Agreement

BDA Supplemental Funding Deed of Variation

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 Burlington Danes 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 Burlington Danes Academy’s LGB is made up as follows:

  • 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
  • One local authority representative
  • Two Diocesan representatives

Ark Burlington Danes Academy is a Church of England school which welcomes pupils of every religion or none. The academy maintains a Christian ethos. Ark Schools works closely with the London Diocesan Board for Schools, which appoints two members to the governing body.

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 five times a year.

Contacting the Governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Natasha Brown ( 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

Current Governors

Peter Haylock (Executive Principal)

Paul Bhatia (Principal)

Paul Simon (Chair of Local Governing Body, Chair of Finance Committee, Finance and People Link Governor)

I manage the family office of Lord Stanley Fink, former CEO of Man Group Plc. I am a Trustee of the Ashden Awards for sustainable energy and a special adviser to the Ashden, JJ and Mark Leonard Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts on their impact investing strategies and allocations. I am a Governor at Ark Burlington Danes Academy and Chair the Local Governing Body as well as the Financecommittee. I have 13 years’ experience in investment banking and private equity with a particular focus on emerging markets, forestry and cleantech venture capital investing and am a frequent speaker to the family office community on matters of sustainability, venture philanthropy and impact investing. I am a Swedish national and hold a BA Hon in Economics and History from Oxford University and an MSc with distinction in political economy from the London School of Economics.

Lord Fink (Chair Emeritus)

A philanthropist and proud family man, who has been fortunate enough in life to enjoy a good education and been successful in business and now tries to spend an increasing amount of time and considerable resources on trying to assist many young people to achieve their potential. Whilst retaining many interests in business (mainly financial businesses, hotel and property businesses) and some in politics (being an active member of the House of Lords) my main passions are Philanthropy, particularly focused on Health, Education and wellbeing of young people (typically 25 and under) to enable them to have active, fulfilled and socially useful lives, encouraging social mobility. My family and I are Involved in and donate to many charities, but our work in Education (of which Ark and Burlington Danes are central) and Children’s Health (of which Ark and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital are central) are the ones that we spend most time on.

Ken Bromfield (Diocese Representative, Careers & Work Related Link Governor)

I started my career as a Trainee Medical Laboratory Technician in chemical pathology. Subsequently, I was appointed as the biochemistry department's Departmental Superintendent at Chelsea College, a role that continued until 1989 when a career change led to my appointment as the Senior Training Officer at King's College London. Throughout my career, my peers elected me to a number of representative roles. I served on the governing councils at Chelsea and King’s Colleges. I was branch and London region secretary of the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs (ASTMS). I also played an active part in the university lecturers' association. I maintain that this experience has been a powerful source of knowledge and understanding, contributing significantly to my own professional and personal development. I have been involved in technician training throughout four decades. I constantly strongly advocated that professional added value, via training and development, provides the most effective means to achieve job satisfaction and, ultimately, to successfully compete for career opportunities. I champion a holistic approach to career planning for technical staff. This entails a deep understanding of the external change issues that may have a profound impact on an individual's career development, or even job security. This was why I was appointed to participate in the Higher Education & Technician Education & Development (HEaTED) project (2007 - 2012). I have applied my technical and training experience widely. I worked as a British Council consultant and trainer for universities in Nigeria, Liberia and Libya; as well in a professional advisory capacity to HE institutions throughout the UK. This work is on-going. I continue my highly active role in furthering key issues related to promoting career and professional opportunities for people involved in the technical infrastructure supporting teaching and research in the education sector. In 2012, my lifetime contribution to UK technician professional advancement was recognised by the award of Fellowship of the Institute of Science and Technology. I am currently working with the IST to initiate and establish masterclasses for technician development. I was awarded the MBE 'For Services in Higher Education' in 1994, largely for my involvement in technician training in the UK and in Africa.

Vicky Browning (Ark Nominated Governor, Safeguarding Link Governor)

As a mother of two children at Ark Burlington Danes, I became a parent governor to help maintain the excellent standard of education and care the school currently offers all pupils. My professional background is running businesses in both the commercial and charity sector giving me the skills to be able to monitor and evaluate the school's management, development and finances. Within the governing body, I represent the views and interests of parents of children at BDA, and work with staff and the governing body to support this great school in allowing pupils of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to achieve their best.

James Crispin (Ark Nominated governor)

I have 17 years’ experience in investment banking, having worked for JP Morgan, Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse within the fixed income business. My focus was on structured finance and securitisation, most recently as JP Morgan’s European head of Structured Finance Syndicate. I retired from investment banking in February 2017 and took the decision to work in philanthropy (setting up the Lisa Crispin Charitable Foundation) and to become a Governor at Burlington Danes Academy, as my late wife, Lisa Crispin, was the Founding Principal of Burlington Danes Primary Academy. I hold a BSc in Real Estate from Oxford Brookes University.

Reverend Steve Divall (Ark/ Diocese Appointment, Christian Ethos Link Governor)

I’ve been vicar of St Helen’s Church, North Kensington since 2006 and a governor at Burlington Danes Academy since 2011. Growing up I benefited enormously from having both a good local Primary School and a good local Secondary School; and so I’m passionate about doing what I can to help Ark Burlington Danes Academy to continue to be an outstanding local school.

Ben Joseph (Ark Nominated Governor)

I have lived locally in North Kensington for my whole life. I have worked in investment management for the last 14 years, prior to which I studied history at UCL and then trained as an accountant at Ernst & Young. Through my firm Westgrove Partners I now manage the investments and advise the companies of a small group of families. I have a passion for art, particularly ensuring it is accessible to everyone and am the Treasurer of the Friends of the Royal Academy of Arts and Trustee of the Gabo Trust for Sculpture Conservation and Royal Society of Sculptors. I have two sons who attend Burlington Danes Primary, and I am committed to ensuring great opportunities to learn are available to everyone at the school and more widely where possible.

Sof McVeigh (SEND Link Governor)

My career is in design, knowing first hand the importance of a creative and technical education. I am passionate about the potential of all children and for over 10 years has been a volunteer and fund raiser for the Rugby Portobello Trust, serving the local North Kensington community. I have worked for large multi-national architecture firms, both in London and HongKong, designing Apple offices, GE Capital and others, as well as setting up my own design company and writing a book.

Claudia Mlcek (Parent Governor)

My education background is in Art History, languages and Social Work/Psychology. During my career I have been an art gallery curator, and a National Trainer at French fashion house, Hermes, after which I moved into Executive Assistance roles across Theatre, Beauty and now Property Development at Derwent London. My son has attended Burlington Danes Primary Academy since January 2017. I have personally engaged with the Parent Association as well being a committed Parent Representative on behalf of my son's class. My motivation for being a governor is to use both my business and parental background to help support and maintain Ark's high standards. I am detailed in my analysis, open to all views and would like to achieve sound decision making in Ark educational and financial plan implementation through asking quantified and qualified questions for the benefit of the unique children who attend an Ark Academy.

Natasha O'Hear (Ark Nominated Governor)

Natasha O'Hear taught at Burlington Danes for seven years from 2011-18 as an English teacher and as the coordinator of the provision for the Most Able students in the Sixth Form. She coordinated the Extended Project Qualification programme, Most Able university applications, a Visiting Speaker Programme and also set up the Oxbridge Project, a seminar group aimed at promising students in the lower years. She is highly invested in the school and committed to ensuring its ongoing success. Natasha also has a successful academic career (she is a lecturer at the University of St Andrews) and has published two books on the art inspired by the concept of the Apocalypse with Oxford University Press. She also has two young sons.

Maneesh Prasad (Teaching Staff Governor)

As staff governor, I hope to represent the views and concerns of the teaching staff at Ark Burlington Danes Academy. I have taught a wide range of subjects at Key Stage 4 and at 6th form including Computing, Economics, Business Studies, Maths and IT and hope to offer an insight to the classroom practice. I have been involved in numerous character development programmes including the Duke of Edinburgh award and have experience of coaching rugby, cricket, rowing and tennis in a school setting. I am thus able to engage with staff and students in a formal and informal setting and offer a variety of experience and knowledge to enrich the Burlington Danes Community.

Kate Rock (Diocese Representative)

Kate has a portfolio of non executive directorships and advisory roles. She is a Non Executive Director of Keller Group, the world’s largest geotechnical contractor. She is also a Board Member of the world’s first Centre for Data Ethics & Innovation, an advisory body set up by Government to investigate and advise on how to maximise the benefits of data-enabled technologies, including Artificial Intelligence.

Kate was appointed a Life Peer in 2015 and focuses her interests on technology, education, skills and business. She sat on the House of Lords Select Committee for Artificial Intelligence that published a report in April 2018: “AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?”

Kate is also a Non Executive Director of Real World Technologies Limited and Senior Adviser at Instinctif Partners. From 2014 until November 2017, Kate was a Non-executive Director and Chairman of the Remuneration Committee of Imagination Technologies plc, the former global FTSE 250 high technology company.

In 2017 Kate was Visiting Parliamentary Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford University. She was formerly Vice Chairman of The Conservative Party, responsible for Business Engagement until July 2016.


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

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

Burlington Danes Academy Governor Attendance and Register of Interest 2017-18