Our local governing body
In July 2018 Ark Castledown joined the Ark Hastings Primary Academies LGB (also including Ark Blacklands and Ark Little Ridge). This means that the schools are provided with opportunities to work closely with each other, enabling more effective school to school support and bringing the benefits of governor skills to all three schools. Ark Hastings Primary Academies LGB is made up as follows:-
- 6 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, and may include up to two parental Governors.
- Ark Blacklands, Ark Castledown and Ark Little Ridge Executive Principal.
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.
Becoming a Governor or Contacting the Governors
The Regional Governance Officer is Charles Shaw (charles.Shaw@arkonline.org). If you are interested in becoming a Governor or have any governance related queries please contact Charles.
I live in Hastings and have two daughters, both of whom have attended Ark Blacklands Academy. I work for Hastings Borough Council as a Senior HR Partner, and have over 15 years’ experience as a Human Resources professional in the public sector. I have a keen interest in the area and the primary academies, and believe that as a governor who offers both support and challenge, I can aid the improvement and development of the academies.
Amie is Head of Assessment at Ark. Prior to this Amie was Network Vice-Principal for Mathematics at Ark, leading a School Improvement Fund project across 12 schools in Hastings to improve the quality of teaching and learning of mathematics in Key Stages 2 and 3. Before joining Ark she worked in a variety of Maths related roles for Harris Academies as well as being a Maths Teacher and Head of Post-16 Maths at Lord Williams School in Thame. Amie has a first degree in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Bristol and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Oxford University.
Chris Connor (Ark Link Governor)
Holly Woods (Safeguarding Link Governor)
I have taught in a special needs school in Hastings for the last 15 years. As part of my role, I work closely with many mainstream schools across the county to ensure appropriate provision is required for children with behavioural difficulties or a diagnosed SEN. I have 3 children who all have been educated in Ark schools, primary and secondary. I have witnessed and been part of the change to an academy and understands the strengths and areas of development needed in his process.
Fiona is a freelance features journalist and a Contributing Editor to House & Garden, writing on the arts and sustainable lifestyle and hosting conversations and live interviews. She is also an ambassador for parliamentary advisory group Fashion Roundtable, and on the board of Art, Action, Change, a UK-based charitable foundation devoted to creating positive change in society through the arts with a focus on education and the empowerment of children. is passionate about the importance of children being given equal opportunity to succeed and has two children at Ark schools.
Satchi Mahendran (Pupil Premium Link Governor)
Satchi is a public policy expert, having held a number of roles in local and national government. This has included positions in the Department for Education, Ofsted, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and 10 Downing Street. He is passionate about contributing to the community in Hastings and believes that our children deserve the best possible education, which he will seek to support the academies to deliver as a governor.
Guy Walker (Finance Link Governor)
Guy is a local managing director, who has built and expanded a successful retail and wholesale business. He is also a business partner and advisor to entrepreneurs and investors, brokering distribution deals, appraising investments and troubleshooting, often in other sectors and geographies. Having successfully sold on his own businesses he now works with likeminded people to assist them to develop and prosper. He has a son at an Ark primary academy.
Mark Rankin (Principal)
Mark is a Governor on the Ark Hastings Primary Academies LGB by virtue of his role as Principal of Ark Castledown Academy
Natalie Rankin (Blacklands Principal)
Natalie is a Governor on the Ark Hastings Primary Academies LGB by virtue of her role as Principal of Ark Blacklands Academy
Kate Woolley (Little Ridge Principal)
Kate is a Governor on the Ark Hastings Primary Academies LGB by virtue of her role as Principal of Ark Little Ridge
Sarah is a Founding Partner and although she does not attend meetings she continues to support Hastings Primaries as an Associate. She moved with her family to Hastings from New York in 2004 and has been involved with a number of community issues ever since. Born and educated in London, she graduated from the faculty of English and American Studies at the University of East Anglia in 1984 and then trained as a reporter at the Kent and Sussex Courier. She later worked in Hong Kong as the Education Editor of the Hong Kong Standard before becoming a freelance writer and photographer based in Kuala Lumpur. She cares deeply about the importance of primary education and believes passionately in the educational and therapeutic qualities of the natural environment.
All appointments are made by the Governance Director for Ark. The term of a governor is three years, except for the Executive Principal and Principal who remain a governor for the duration of their time in post.
The Register of Attendance for 2021/22 can be found here: Ark Hastings Primaries LGB attendance 2021-22.pdf
The Register of Interests can be found here: Hastings Primaries LGB Register of Interests - Sept 2022.pdf