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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 Academy.

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 Academy’s governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement

PDF iconBDA Supplemental Funding Agreement


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 four times a year.

Contacting the Governors

To contact the Clerk to Governors or if you have any governance-related queries please email the Ark Governance Team at Governors can be contacted through the Clerk and the parent governor can be contacted through the school office. If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit

Current Governors

Michael Ribton (Principal)

I was educated at Southampton, studying Archaeology and then completed a post graduate course at Oxford University. Following a posting in East Africa with Voluntary Service Overseas, I have worked in inner London education for the past thirty years., I joined BDA in 2008 and was part of the team that turned around the academy; I co-authored a book, ‘Headstrong’, about this period of rapid improvement. Married with three children, I want the school to feel like a family community.

I am proud to be the Principal of BDA since September 2014.

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 (Associate and 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.

Zillah Bingley (Vice Chair of Local Governing Body, Chair of Premises Committee)

I have been a Governor at Ark Burlington Danes Academy since 2009 and am now Vice Chair of the Local Governing Body and Chair of the Premises Committee. I have been privileged to watch Ark BDA develop into the Outstanding school it is today.

I work as a charity Chief Executive and am a qualified solicitor. I have worked in the commercial sector and the third sector in both advisory and business leader capacities for over 25 years. I have significant experience in leadership, business strategies, income generation and building high performing teams. My work in the third sector has primarily involved work associated with children, the medical world and diverse people and my role as a governor complements this very well.

Outside work I love music and play the cello - occasionally performing in a local symphony orchestra. I and also an avid reader and believe in everyone having an opportunity to escape into a literary world. I also try to make time for exercise and like to run along the Thames to counterbalance my other passion – an interest in good wine!

Ken Bromfield (Diocese Representative, SEND Link Governor, 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.

Paul Cook (Non-Teaching Staff Governor)

Before working in education I was an award winning baker and bakery manager. I have been working as a science technician for many years in various types of schools and am a registered technician (RsciTech) with the ASE and accredited with the National Science Learning Centre through York University. I am Senior Lead Technician at Burlington Danes Academy and am the Ark networks lead science technician advisor. I am currently the Salter's Technician of the Year.

I would like to raise the profile of science technicians and the positive impact to science departments and student practical experience they can bring. I enjoy showing students inspiring and exciting “wonder and awe” practical demonstrations that can be linked to scientific theory, with a hope to expand this to outreach projects to other primary and secondary schools.

As Non-Teaching Staff governor at Burlington Danes, I hope to do my best to represent the perspective of operational staff and potentially use any previous experience or contacts that could enrich student’s education through visits or projects.

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.

Katharina Ladewig (Parent Governor, Primary Link Governor, Modern Foreign Languages Link Governor)

I have extensive experience working in higher education, taking a great interest in ensuring my students/mentees/trainees/staff are inspired by my teaching, mentoring postgraduate students, and most importantly inspiring young minds to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and medicine (STEM). I hold formal tertiary qualifications in Science, Engineering, Higher Education, and Business Management.

As the current Director of EIT Health (UK-Ireland) - a European Commission funded consortium tasked with driving improvements in public health across Europe - I work in close partnership with leading businesses, universities and non-profit organisations in the UK and Ireland (incl. Imperial College London, Oxford University, Cambridge University, Trinity College Dublin).

On a personal level I strongly support the performing arts, have travelled widely and held several posts in community organisations in the past. My daughter attends BDA Primary Academy and as parent governor my focus will be on furthering education opportunities in STEM disciplines.

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 spent her career in corporate communications and business relations and has extensive experience in promoting international brands, advising many of the UK’s leading companies. She is a Non Executive Director of Imagination Technologies plc, the FTSE 250 technology company. She is also Non Executive Director of First News (UK), the award-winning weekly newspaper for children. Kate is formerly Vice Chairman of The Conservative Party, where she had special responsibility for business relations. She worked on both the 2010 and 2015 General Election campaigns as well as the EU Referendum. She was appointed a Life Peer in 2015.


LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest Attendance at meetings 


Zillah Bingley 01/04/2009 Ark Nominated
  1. Employed: Chief Executive, Rainbow Trust Children's Charity
  2. Sole Director of Solace Advice Limited, a dormant company
3 out of 6
Ken Bromfield 01/09/2008 Diocese
  1. Non-profit member: Crosslight (Debt counselling, St Paul's Church, Hammersmith)
6 out of 6
Vicky Browning 22/01/2015 Ark Nominated
  1. Employed: Chief executive of ACEVO, the membership body for leaders of third sector organisations in England and Wales
5 out of 6
Paul Cook 28/03/2013 Non-Teaching Staff
  1. Employed: Senior Lead Science Technician at Ark Burlington Danes Academy
  2. Member: ASE (Registered SciTech)
5 out of 6
Lisa Crispin 01/09/2015 Principal (Primary) (Former)   6 out of 6
Jordan Davis 01/10/2015; 30/06/2017 Ark Link (Former) Employee of Ark: Donor Communications Manager 5 out of 6
Revd Steve Divall 01/03/2012 Ark/ Diocese
  1. Vicar of a nearby church
4 out of 6
Stanley Fink 01/09/2009; 18/05/2016 Associate*
  1. Chair: ISAM Investment management
  2. Chair: Zenith Hygiene Products
  3. Non-Executive director: Marex Spectron plc
  4. Directorship/appointment: Earth Capital Partners
  5. Shareholding & Investments: various - see Parliamentary Register of Interests
  6. Non profit memberships: various - see Parliamentary Register of Interests
  7. Zenith Hygiene services has contracts to supply chemicals and cleaning products to some Ark schools
  8. Employee Paul Simon acts as a Governor of Ark Burlington Danes
1 out of 5
Simon Hillyard 01/09/2006; 31/08/2016 Ark Nominated (Former)   4 out of 6
William Hunter 05/12/2014;
Local Authority Rep (Former)   4 out of 6
Maneesh Prashad 01/10/2015 Teaching Staff
  1. Member: Richmond Canoe Club provide support for the school teams when enter the Devizes to Westminster race
4 out of 6
Michael Ribton 01/09/2014 Principal
  1. Principal at Ark Burlington Danes Academy
6 out of 6
Kate Rock 01/09/2012 Diocese
  1. Previous Employment: Instinctif Partners, hold shareholding; Longshot (Kids) Ltd: hold shareholding; Bell Pottinger: husband holds shareholding; Imagination Technologies: hold shareholding; Boden: Adviser
  2. Non-Executive Director: Imagination Technologies plc
  3. Non-Executive Director: First News (UK) Ltd
  4. Life Peer in the House of Lords
2 out of 6
Paul Simon 01/09/2006 Chair Ark Nominated
  1. Employed by Lord Fink
5 out of 6
Emma Jane Skinmore 01/01/2015;
Ark Nominated (Former)   6 out of 6
Sam Talbot Rice 01/09/2012; 31/08/2016 Diocese (Former)   3 out of 6

All appointments are made by the Governance Manager 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.

*Lord Fink, Founding Partner, Emeritus Chair and Trustee of Ark Schools continues to support Ark Burlington Danes Academy and the work of the Local Governing Body as Associate Governor, from May 2016.