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 William Parker Academy is part of Ark - 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 William Parker.

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 the Local Governing Body (LGB). This means that, unlike in most non-academy governing bodies, governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

PDF iconMaster Funding Agreement

PDF iconAmendment and Restatement Agreement

PDF iconArk William Parker Academy Supplemental Funding Agreement

Our local governing body

Ark William Parker Academy’s LGB is made up as follows:

  • Six to ten members appointed by Ark, including the Chair – usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area
  • Ark William Parker Academy's Principal
  • One elected parent governor
  • One elected teaching staff governor
  • One elected non-teaching staff governor
  • One local authority representative from East Sussex County Council
  • Two governors appointed by the Diocese

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

Ark William Parker Academy operates a joint governance model with the LGB from Helenswood Academy. The LGBs meet jointly nine times a year to consider issues that affect both academies and separately for academy specific discussions.

Contacting the governors

The current Clerk to Governors is Jess Wilks ( 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 If you have any governance-related queries, please contact

Current governors

Terry Kelly (Acting Principal)

Rebecca Curtis (Executive Chair)

I joined Ark Schools in 2009 after over 10 years in various school leadership positions in inner London secondary schools including as a founding small school headteacher at Evelyn Grace Academy. As Director of Education Support I oversee the work of the Ark education team in providing support and training to schools across the network.

William Barham 

From holding responsibilities in a large nearby secondary school, William has deep experience to contribute to the Governing Body in areas of safeguarding, student's welfare and enrichment as well as overall school management and improvement. He holds professional qualifications in education and management, has previously served as a school governor and is committed to ensuring the best possible educational experience and outcomes for our young people.

Gareth Bendon 

I am an alumnus of William Parker. I read English at Jesus College Oxford and joined the Civil Service on graduation. After 24 years I left to join the London Docklands Development Corporation, from which I have retired. In retirement I have taken on several charitable roles. I was until recently a trustee of the Institute for European Environmental Policy. I am chairman of the trustees of the Newham Riding School & Association (a riding for the disabled charity in East London). I am a trustee of the Magdalen & Lasher Charities and chairman respectively of the Old Hastings House Management and the Education Committees. I am also Chairman of the William Parker Foundation and in that capacity was a governor of William Parker Sports College and latterly chairman of the Governing Body. My two sons attended William Parker throughout their secondary education, and my two daughters attended Parkwood 6th Form.

Helen Bostock 

Helen Bostock is a Director in the People & Culture department of Primark. She is Global Head of Organisational Effectiveness & Resourcing. She joined Primark in October 2015.

Prior to this, she was a director in the Human Resources department of Barclays Plc, where she led the Organisational Insight team as well as having global responsibility for the Barclays graduate and MBA recruitment programmes. Helen joined Barclays in 2010 as global head of entry-level programmes for Barclays Wealth. Helen was formerly a Managing Director and global head of campus recruitment at Credit Suisse and prior to this spent 17 years at JPMorgan in a variety of HR and Marketing roles.  She is a former board director and Vice President of the Association of Graduate Recruiters (UK), a former external trustee for the Centre for Recording Achievement. She was a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Thought-Leadership Council, University of Leicester and a member of the advisory board of the Wilson Review on University/Business Collaboration (2012). She is currently a trustee of the charity, Let Them Shine.  Helen has a keen interest in coaching and mentoring having previously worked as a careers placement counsellor for the London School of Economics.

Helen holds a BSc in Sociology from the University of Kent at Canterbury.  Her interests include the Anglo-Zulu War, theatre and live music.  She lives in Sussex and is married with one daughter.

Jonquil Cargill (Parent governor)

I am a mother of two boys living in Hastings. Most of my working life has been spent as a freelance journalist with five years as a columnist for the Daily Telegraph on Saturday.  I have also worked for the BBC and independent radio stations and recently started working as a screenwriter. I have a BA in Philosophy and English. We moved to Hastings as a family in 2006 and my sons went to Netherfield C of E primary school outside Battle. It was here I became a parent governor for the first time and came to appreciate the great difference that committed and progressive educators can make to all children's lives. I hope to be able to contribute to and support the development and success of the staff and pupils of the school in any way I can.

Chris Connelley (Local Authority representative)

I am the community development worker for the 7 Streets Project in St. Leonards, helping to bring people together in one of the most diverse and exciting neighbourhoods in town. We run a range of activities, events and projects which build on local interests, to include a friendship group, street clean ups and a popular weekly club for young people. Previously, I worked for many years in education, mostly in the university sector, experiencing the very different cultures of a dynamic modern university, UEL, and a global premier league player, the LSE, where I was founding Head of their Staff Development Unit. I moved here from London in 2011, attracted by the thought of living by the coast, the rich architectural mix and the town’s developing arts culture. I try to be an active citizen wherever I live, serve as a community mediator and am Chair of the St Leonards Town Team. I am excited by the prospect of supporting change at Ark William Parker and hope my previous experience as a governor in primary and secondary sectors will be of some benefit. I am married to a Technology teacher and have two sons.

Reverend Luke Dean (Diocesan representative)

As a late developer, doing poorly at school I didn’t complete any further education until I was 30. However I gained experience in life; worked on a building site with the site-engineers for three years and drove delivery vans, buses, coaches and articulated lorries for four years. Following further education became a land and hydrographic surveyor and software engineer specializing in locating aircraft lost in deep sea. With 3 colleagues subsequently started a software company focussed on land mapping applications. That company was sold to one based in the USA and led to the requirement to move to the USA which re-ignited the interest in ordination. I did move to the USA and there met my wife but moved back to UK in 2005 to start theological college. I have been a vicar in St Leonards-on-Sea since October 2011. Hobbies include computing, motorcycling, cycling, running, skiing and keep fit.

Sarah Driver (Chair & SEND link Governor)

I am a mother of four children who are now at secondary school or university. Three of them are dyslexic so I have a special interest in dyslexia and literacy. In that regard I am on the national Dyslexia Trust (through the Driver Youth Trust) and have been working with Ark Schools for the past 4 years developing the Drive for Literacy programme. I have been a governor before in a State school and am now Chair of Governors at Ark William Parker having been a founding partner of the school with my husband, Mark. I really look forward to the role and to being part of the team as the school takes on its new Academy status. I am also on the Parkwood 6th Form governing body working closely with Helenswood School.

Marie Hamer (Ark Link Governor)

I joined Ark Schools in October 2012 as Head of Initial Teacher Training, having previously worked for Canterbury Christ Church University as a Senior Lecturer in Education leading aspects of the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in London, and nationally as Curriculum Lead for English. Since completing my degree in English at Cambridge University I have worked in a variety of roles in education, including both middle and senior leadership posts within a secondary school serving one of the most deprived wards in the country.

Sarah Hopwood (Finance link Governor)

I am a Chartered Accountant with many years experience in both the commercial and charitable sectors. I am, and have been for the past 17 years, the Director of Finance & Resources for Glyndebourne Productions Ltd, the international opera house based in East Sussex, with a world-renowned Education programme. I hope that I will be in a position to bring experience to the Ark William Parker LGB through both my professional experience, from the experience I have gained as a Governor of a local prep school and as a member of the Kings College London Audit & Compliance Committee, in addition to being a mother of two children living in East Sussex.

Clifford Smith (Diocesan representative, Vice Chair, Safeguarding Link and Health & Safety link Governor)

I have a background in finance and have been a governor in maintained schools in East Sussex for a number of years, including six years as Chair of Governors during which governance was rated outstanding by Ofsted. Most recently I was appointed to a school in special measures and assisted that school to be rated as satisfactory the following year. All of my children have attended William Parker and/or Parkwood and the former 'federal sixth' with Helenswood. My youngest son is a pupil at William Parker.


LGB Name Term Dates Gov type and Term Relevant declarations of interest Attendance at meetings 2014/15
Gareth Bendon 01/09/2013 Ark Nominated
  1. Trustee: Newham Riding School & Association (riding for the disabled charity based in East London)
  2. Trustee: The William Parker Foundation; The Magdalen & Lasher Charity
  3. Trustee: The Magdalen & Lasher Education Foundation
  4. Trustee: The Magdalen & Lasher Charity- Old Hastings House CIO

5 out of 7

Helen Bostock 04/12/2014 Ark Nominated  

3 out of 3

Jonquil Cargill 25/11/2014 Parent


3 out of 3

Chris Connelley 19/12/2013 Local Authority Rep
  1. Employed at  Eastbourne Borough Council
  2. Chair: St Leonards Town Team
  3. Executive member: Gensing and Central St Leonards Community Forum
  4. Writer, Hastings Independent Press

5 out of 7

Rebecca Curtis 18/02/2015 Chair
  1. Employee of Ark schools
  2. Member of the Association of School & College Leaders (ASCL)

5 out of 5

Luke Dean 01/09/2013 Diocese


5 out of 7

Sarah Driver 18/02/2015 Ark Nominated
  1. Owner of Rathfinny Wine Estate (hosted an educational visit; can offer facilities at a good rate for off-site meetings/events)
  2. Trustee of Driver Youth Trust (DYT) which has financed & developed, with Ark schools, the Drive for Literacy programme which is available to Ark schools, free of charge
  3. The DfL programme was offered, free of charge, to primary schools in Hastings as part of the national roll-out programme (2015)
  4. My husband, Mark, and I have sponsored both Ark William Parker and Blacklands Academy in Hastings and we also provide university bursaries to Ark pupils

7 out of 7

Marie Hamer 01/09/2013 Ark Link


4 out of 7

Daniel Hatley 2014-15 Principal


3 out of 3

Sarah Hopwood 01/09/2015 Ark Nominated


6 out of 7

Mark Phillips 01/09/2013 Principal
  1. Principal at Ark William Parker

7 out of 7

Clifford Smith 01/09/2013 Diocese
  1. Employed as a Civil Servant
  2. Foundation Governor appointed by the Diocese of Chichester to Hurst Green CofE Primary School, East Sussex

7 out of 7

Mark Feery 27/11/2014;    


Teaching Staff (former)
  1. Staff member at Ark William Parker Academy

5 out of 6

Richard James 01/09/2013;    


Ark Nominated (former)
  1. Environment & Operations Manager for the Rathfinny Wine Estate, East Sussex

6 out of 7

John McIntosh 01/09/2013;    


Ark Nominated (former)
  1. Employee and member of the United Learning Church Schools Trust

1 out of 7

All appointments are made by the Governance Manager for Ark Schools.  The term of a governor is two years, except for the chair (three years) and the Principal, who remains a governor for the duration of his time in post.