Ark Schools is developing a school curriculum programme covering “all the major subjects” that it plans to sell to other schools.

The trust’s accounts say Ark Curriculum Plus will build on the success of Ark’s Mathematics Mastery and English Mastery curricula, which are used by hundreds of schools around the country.

The move into the curriculum market comes as Ofsted’s new framework shifts its focus from exam results to how schools deliver curriculum.

A spokesperson for Ark Schools said all schools “contribute towards the cost of the resources and training that they receive”.

“As with our existing non-profit programmes, any revenue from future curriculum programmes will be reinvested in our curriculum work,” he said.

The accounts also show that Ark Schools no longer pays anything towards the salary of its chief executive.

Lucy Heller, the managing director of Ark Schools, is also the chief executive of the charity Absolute Return for Kids (Ark), which sponsors the trust.

Last year her salary of £236,601 for both roles was paid solely by the Ark – a charity set up to distribute donations from hedge fund financiers to improve the life chances of disadvantaged children.

In 2016-17, Ark Schools contributed £118,747 towards Heller’s pay.

The Ark Schools spokesperson said that as Heller was chief executive of the Ark charity, “our board of trustees decided that it would be appropriate for Ark to pay her salary”.



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  1. So, the salary of Ark Schools’ CEO is off the MAT’s books because it is paid by hedge fund manager donations. Is this similar to what happened at the BBC when the salaries of overpaid “talent” was under the public spotlight? How are you accountable when you lead an organisation that does not even pay your salary?

    Ark have created curriculum resources, paid for by the public purse in salaries of state funded Ark teachers. These are going to be sold to other state schools who don’t have sugar daddies in the background. Hmmm! Maybe the hedge fund managers could pay for these resources and make them available free to every school. Now that would be real philanthropy!