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 Victoria 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 Victoria.

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, unlike in most non-academy governing bodies, Ark Victoria's governors are able to concentrate on the things that really matter – educational strategy, school outcomes and aspiration.

To view the Ark Master Funding Agreement please click on the link below:

Ark Schools Master Funding Agreement.

To view the Ark Victoria Supplemental funding agreement please click on the link below:

Ark Victoria Academy Birmingham SFA 20180228

The Ark Schools Articles of Association, Master Funding Agreement and Decision Making Framework can be found on the Ark Schools website here:



Our Local Governing Body

Ark Victoria Academy's LGB is made up as follows:

Six to 10 members appointed by Ark, to include the Chair, two Parent Governors and one Staff Governor - 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 meets four times a year.  


Contacting the Governors

The Clerk to Governors is Carole Gallant (  Governors can be contacted through the clerk.

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

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

Current Governors


David Gould OBE - Chair and Leadership Link Governor

Before retiring, David Gould was Executive Principal of Ark Boulton Academy, which opened in September 2015, and former Principal at Ark St Alban’s Academy, which opened in September 2009.  He was also Regional Director of Secondary Education for Ark in Birmingham.  As Principal at Ark St Alban's, David improved student outcomes over 16 years with significant improvements in GCSE results. His tireless and focused work resulted in the school being named as one of the country’s best schools on the value-added measure, with pupils making outstanding progress during their time at the Academy.  He also helped the Academy to build a strong community presence - forging strong links with Birmingham Central Mosque and with other local religious groups.  Prior to joining Ark, David was the Head Teacher of St Alban’s CE Specialist Engineering College. David was awarded an OBE for services to education in 2017.

Steve O'Donnell - Finance Link Governor

Steve is a Senior Relationship Manager at Allied Irish Bank and is involved in several Birmingham and West Midlands professional business groups. He brings many years experience in business and finance to his role as Finance link governor. 

Catherine Howard - SEND Link Governor and Safeguarding Link Governor

Catherine has worked extensively with vulnerable children including those with SEND and EAL. She has managed and led on inclusion and safeguarding in numerous educational settings. Catherine currently volunteers at Samaritans and is undertaking a PhD in education.

Safina Perveen - Quality of Education (Secondary) Link Governor

Safina is a Teaching Fellow and Subject Lead for Secondary Physics Initial Teacher Training at the University of Warwick. Safina has supported schools locally and internationally with research informed pratice. Safina's current research interests are on widening participation. 

Thomas Green - Quality of Education (Primary) Link Governor

Thomas is originally from south Wales where he also completed his degree in Human Geography studying at Cardiff University. Following the completion of his degree he trained to become a teacher before moving to London and teaching at an Ofsted 'Outstanding' academy. Following his relocation to Birmingham he took up the post of classroom teacher at nearby Ark Tindal Primary Academy. Thomas has since changed careers and is now a train driver for an international freight operating company. He remains passionate about education and continues to volunteer at local primary schools during his free time.

Samina Rashid - Staff Governor

Samina is the Faculty Director of Science at Ark Victoria Academy and represents the staff body. She grew up in the local community and is an alumni of our primary school. She feels passionately about serving her local community that helped her become who she is today. Samina has been teaching for over 18 years in local and international schools teaching up to A Level chemistry. She wants to see our students become happy, successful pillars of the community.

Adeba Khan

Adeba has worked as an RE Teacher for many years in Birmingham, particularly where there has been social deprivation. She is results-focused with extensive experience leading and motivating staff and students in different settings. She is expertly skilled in assessment and progress and utilises exceptional rapport building skills to develop strong relationships with students and staff.

Ghufran Ahmed - Parent Governor and Careers and Personal Development Link Governor

Ghufran has worked in education for over 20 years and is currently Assistant Headteacher at a local secondary school (Saltley Academy). He has previously worked as a Governor for almost seven years at a neighbouring primary school, having held roles such as SEN Link Governor, Chair of the Finance Committee and Vice Chair of Governors. As a resident within the local area (and a parent of children at Ark Victoria Academy) Ghufran understands the determination of every parent to see their child fulfil and exceed their potential. He hopes to play an important role in further strengthening the link between the school and its local community.

In his spare time Ghufran enjoys playing football, cricket and boxing (although he says age is slowing him down!). 

Aisha Khan - Parent Governor and Community Link Governor

Aisha Khan is a mother of three children that attend Ark Victoria Academy. Prior to becoming a mum, she worked as a teacher in London and Birmingham. She trained as a Citizenship teacher in London and worked full time as a Humanities teacher for six years. Subsequently, she worked as a Supply Teacher in London and Birmingham.

Since becoming a mother, she has forged a number of links with local community groups and is keen for the Academy to work with local organisations for the betterment of the attendees of the Academy and for wider society too.

Ela McSorley - Principal All Through, Ark Victoria Academy

To view the Governors Attendance please follow this link: AVA 2021 - 2022 LGB Attendance.pdf

To view the Govenrors' Declarations of Interest: Declarations of Interest Ark Victoria 2022-23.pdf

Governors are appointed by the Director of Governance for Ark. Governors and Chair appointments are for three years; the Principal remains a govenror as long as they are in post.