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 Boulton 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 Boulton

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 Boulton'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 can be found on the Ark Schools website here

Ark Boulton's LGB

The LGB is comprised of six to ten members appointed by Ark, to include the Chair and two places available for Parent Governors, other members are usually people with a local connection or interest who are committed to supporting educational opportunity in the area.

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 meet four times a year.

Contacting the Governors

The Clerk to Governors is Fleur Sifford ( Governors can be contacted through the clerk.

If you are interested in becoming a governor, please visit this site. If you have any governance-related queries, please contact

For information on the Ark Schools board please visit our Trustees page.

Our Local Governing Body

Liz Dawson - Acting Chair of Governors

Liz is the Director of Governance for Ark and Ark Schools and leads on governance, legal and compliance activities.  She has worked in governance in education, charities and professional bodies and as well as being a company secretary has a law degree which she studied for part-time as a mature student.  Liz has also trained in arbitration, as an adviser for Citizen's Advice Bureau and is a mentor with The Girls Network.

Usmaan Akbar Butt - Safeguarding Link

Usmaan works for the UK's leading provider of support services to the legal sector where his role is to ensure his clients are getting the most out of their business operations. A passion for people and development led Usmaan to complete a Post Graduate Diploma in HR management in 2019. Becoming a governor in 2020, Usmaan hopes to work with the LGB in continuing to make Ark Boulton a success for the local community where he himself grew up and remains based.

Isra Abdi - Ark Nominated

Isra Abdi graduated with a law degree and currently works as a caseworker for a Member of Parliament. Previously, Isra worked as a paralegal within a law firm practicing public law and community care. Isra became a governor at Ark Boulton in order to give back to the community that she grew up in, and is passionate about youth development. 

Barbara Opala -  Finance Link

Barbara is originally from Poland and came to England 13 years ago, where she has qualified as a solicitor. Barbara has previously volunteered at Coventry Citizen Advice Bureau, and currently works as a volunteer mentor with The Girls Network. She is keen to contribute to the community and brings enthusiasm and commercial skills to the governing body. 

Shabrana Hussain - Ark Nominated

Shabrana is a local councillor and mother of three. She holds the post of Cabinet Adviser (Walking and Cycling) and is a member of a number of Birmingham City Council committees including Council Business Management Committee, Housing and Neighbourhoods Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Trusts and Charities Committee, West Midlands Police and Crime Panel (substitute member).

Farzana Ahmed - Principal 

All appointments are made by the Director of Governance.  The term of a governor and Chair is three years, and the Principal remains a governor for the duration of their time in post.