Ark (charity)

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Ark, formerly ARK (Absolute Returns for Kids), is an international children's charity based in the United Kingdom.

Ark is a registered charity under English law and is based in London. In 2013–14 it had a gross income of £12.95m.[1]

Ark was co-founded by a group of hedge fund financiers including Paul Marshall and Ian Wace of Marshall Wace and Arpad Busson of EIM Group, who is founding chairman of its board of trustees.[2]


Founded as Absolute Returns for Kids in 2002 by a group of businessmen in the alternative investment industry to improve the life chances of children, by creating high returns on philanthropic investment.[citation needed] Since 2014, the charity has been known as Ark.

Ark's programmes and goals focus on Health (sub-Saharan Africa), Education (UK, US, India) and Child Protection (Eastern Europe). In 2012, Ark began taking part in public-private partnerships in education in Africa.[citation needed]

The charity claims to apply robust development principles and sound business disciplines to all its programmes, including setting targets and emphasising close monitoring and evaluation to ensure high impact. Ark's trustees and patrons cover central and administrative costs, ensuring that 100% of donations go directly to deliver Ark's programmes for children.[citation needed]


Ark works in the areas of Education, Health and Child Protection.

UK Education[edit]

Ark Schools runs Ark's UK education programme.[3]

It runs a network of 34 academies. Ark Schools was created in 2004 to work with the Department for Education and local authorities to create new schools for inner cities through the academies programme.[citation needed]

Ark Schools’ aim is to help close the achievement gap between children from disadvantaged and more affluent backgrounds. Its academies focus on raising attainment with the aim of every pupil going into higher education when they complete school.[citation needed]

Primary schools[edit]

  • Ark Atwood Primary Academy, Westminster
  • Ark Ayrton Primary Academy, Portsmouth
  • Ark Bentworth Primary Academy, Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Ark Blacklands Primary Academy, Hastings
  • Ark Brunel Primary Academy, Kensington and Chelsea
  • Ark Byron Primary Academy, Ealing
  • Ark Chamberlain Academy, Birmingham
  • Ark Conway Primary Academy, Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Ark Dickens Primary Academy, Portsmouth
  • Ark Franklin Primary Academy, Brent
  • Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy, Hastings
  • Ark Oval Primary Academy, Croydon
  • Ark Priory Primary Academy, Ealing
  • Ark Rose Primary Academy, Birmingham
  • Ark Swift Primary Academy, Hammersmith & Fulham
  • Ark Tindal Primary Academy, Birmingham

Secondary schools[edit]

All-through schools[edit]

Ark has also developed two teacher leadership programmes in the UK and one in the United States, 'Future Leaders' and 'Teaching Leaders'.[citation needed]

Ark Board of Trustees[edit]

In addition to its Chairman, Ian Wace, and Founding Chairman, Arpad Busson, ARK's Global Board of Trustees comprises: Paul Dunning, Lord Fink, Kevin Gundle, Paul Marshall, Jennifer Moses, Michael Platt, Blaine Tomlinson and Anthony Williams.[4]

Ian Wace was appointed Chairman of ARK in October 2010, succeeding Lord Fink who remains a Trustee and a member of the Global Board.[5]

Ark's Founding Chairman, Arpad Busson, is a member of the Global Board and is Chairman of Absolute Return for Kids, US, Inc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Charity Commission. Absolute Return for Kids, registered charity no. 1095322.
  2. ^ "From richer to poorer" The Times, 22 July 2007
  3. ^ Charity Commission. ARK Schools, registered charity no. 1111608.
  4. ^ "About Us". ARK. Archived from the original on 28 March 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2013.
  5. ^ "Who we are | Ark Schools". Retrieved 2015-10-19.

External links[edit]