Ark Schools Reviews

Updated 1 May 2020

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2.5
25%
Recommend to a Friend
59%
Approve of CEO
Ark Schools Chief Executive Lucy Heller (no image)
Lucy Heller
16 Ratings
  1. "Amazing start to work at this amazing Charity, full of incredible Schools!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ark Schools full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    * Amazing induction during my first two weeks; I was given some great materials and policies to read on Ark and how it operates which was a great start * Fantastic intranet available to staff which great staffing structures which makes being a new starter less daunting * Brilliant benefits; 27 days annual leave for central staff and all staff get access to discounts with Ark rewards * You can clearly see that everyone who works for Ark and it's Schools are very passionate about what they do and care about it's mission, this is a great environment to be in * Pupils are performing well and majority of Schools have an Outstanding Ofsted rating

    Cons

    Not able to point any out, but will be sure to report back.

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    Ark Schools Response

    September 24, 2019Senior Recruitment Advisor

    Thank you so much for your positive review, we will pass on your thoughts and we wish you best of luck during your time at Ark.

  2. "Good company to work for"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - History Teacher in Hastings, England

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Excelllent CPD and training, lots of opportunities for progression. talented staff, high standards and good working conditions / workload

    Cons

    Very results driven and don’t always put staff before other considerations

  3. "A Multitrust Academy"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Support Worker in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time

    Pros

    Well organised and good level of training

    Cons

    High level of scrutiny-many observations and meetings Every term a new initiative to add to your current practice Rigid and inflexible

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  4. Helpful (1)

    "The worst year of my life."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Secondary Teacher in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    High quality teaching staff. Strong mission for educational equality.

    Cons

    Leadership team have respect for work-life balance. You are expected to work through your lunchtimes and breaks every day. You are regularly expected to stay late. Working on the weekend is the norm. If you raise concerns about your work-life balance you will be accused of being inefficient with your time and ignored. I had been warned Ark before joining, I wish I'd listened.

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  5. "Education charity"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Education Specialist in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Ark Schools full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great teachers and pupils, and some inspirational senior leaders in schools

    Cons

    Senior leaders not supportive

  6. Helpful (2)

    "Soulless"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Classroom Teacher in Brent, England
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Opportunities to progress and clear hierarchy.

    Cons

    Heartless, soulless environment. Was told to go straight into the classroom after having a car crash.

  7. Helpful (3)

    "Effective but intense and rigid, lacking a human side"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    - Wide network encourages sharing of resources and expertise -Sense of really making a difference in areas where aspiration may have been low - Some really passionate and (albeit few) compassionate colleagues -Organised -Some good training -Some increased PPA to balance out the longer days -Some great kids

    Cons

    - Long days with a lot of pupil contact with sometimes no clearly defined midday breaks for teachers. -Tough demographic and sometimes little thought of the stress/pressure to achieve ambitious results - As mentioned in another review, there was indirect mistreatment of certain staff which went unchallenged -Graded observations in some schools which is an outdated, unreliable and discriminatory practice. -Poor work/life balance -In some cases, too much spoon feeding of the pupils/onus on the teacher rather than the pupils -There is very much a certain 'mould' that you need to fit. The ethos feels very shiny, corporate, young and full of Teach Firsters. Ark have tried to balance this out with NowTeach but when your staff body is mainly composed of Teach Firsters, NowTeachers and NQTs it should ring alarm bells. - VERY rare treats for staff - Very rigid and conservative; pupils rarely had opportunities to properly let off steam - Short breaks and lunchtimes which were cut into with teachers having to collect pupils -Lack of warmth

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    Ark Schools Response

    October 28, 2019Senior Recruitment Advisor

    Thank you for your feedback. As an organisation, we value and take all feedback seriously and are always looking for ways to improve. We wanted to take the opportunity to address some of your comments and concerns. We recognise that we are working in challenging times, but we are working hard to ensure great outcomes for pupils and across our services. We are sorry that you did not choose to engage with us directly on the issues you were facing and allow us to support you through these, before posting on a forum such as this. We take all staff concerns seriously, and there are many avenues open to staff who have any concerns. We want our frontline staff to feel supported by their line managers and Leadership Team and to be confident in all that they do, as without them we would not be able to provide the education and support services that we do for our amazing pupils. We will take this feedback on board and use it to better the training and guidance that is carried out to staff. We are working hard to recruit, support and invest in our staff and to make Ark Schools a good place to work. If you have any further comments, we have a number of processes for staff to report concerns to management and staff council and we would encourage any member of staff who have concerns to use these mechanisms. Thank you for your contribution to the organisation.

  8. Helpful (3)

    "Intense environment with a rigid way of doing things"

    2.0
    Former Employee - English Teacher 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    People who really care about what they do

    Cons

    High staff turnover Patronising management

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    Ark Schools Response

    September 24, 2019Senior Recruitment Advisor

    Thank you for your feedback. As an organisation, we value and take all feedback seriously and are always looking for ways to improve. We wanted to take the opportunity to address some of your comments and concerns. We recognise that we are working in challenging times, but we are working hard to ensure great outcomes for pupils and across our services. We are sorry that you did not choose to engage with us directly on the issues you were facing and allow us to support you through these, before posting on a forum such as this. We take all staff concerns seriously, and there are many avenues open to staff who have any concerns. We take the comment about behaviour from our management team very seriously and want to address this straight away. We want our frontline staff to feel supported by their line managers and Leadership Team and to be confident in all that they do, as without them we would not be able to provide the education and support services that we do for our amazing pupils. We will take this feedback on board and use it to better the training and guidance that is carried out to staff. We are working hard to recruit, support and invest in our staff and to make Ark Schools a good place to work. If you have any further comments, we have a number of processes for staff to report concerns to management and staff council and we would encourage any member of staff who have concerns to use these mechanisms. Thank you for your contribution to the organisation.

  9. Helpful (4)

    "A horrible place to work."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Compensation and Benefits
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Having the opportunity to work with children.

    Cons

    The Ark schools offer a totally toxic working environment. Working at Ark was exceptionally stressful: Most colleagues were unfriendly and some were actively unkind. Wages are already low, yet staff are expected to work overtime for free. There is no work-life balance and staff turn -over is exceptionally high. All in all a vile place to work.

    Continue reading

    Ark Schools Response

    September 24, 2019Senior Recruitment Advisor

    Thank you for your feedback. As an organisation, we value and take all feedback seriously and are always looking for ways to improve. We wanted to take the opportunity to address some of your comments and concerns. We recognise that we are working in challenging times, but we are working hard to ensure great outcomes for pupils and across our services. We are sorry that you did not choose to engage with us directly on the issues you were facing and allow us to support you through these, before posting on a forum such as this. We take all staff concerns seriously, and there are many avenues open to staff who have any concerns. We take the comment about Ark having a toxic working environment very seriously and want to address this straight away; we want you to be happy at work and are sorry that you feel this way. We are also working on our work-life-balance / flexible working offer and hope we can use this to be an employer of choice for the future. We want our frontline staff to feel supported by their line managers and Leadership Team and to be confident in all that they do, as without them we would not be able to provide the education and support services that we do for our amazing pupils. We will take this feedback on board and use it to better the training and guidance that is carried out to staff. We are working hard to recruit, support and invest in our staff and to make Ark Schools a good place to work. If you have any further comments, we have a number of processes for staff to report concerns to management and staff council and we would encourage any member of staff who have concerns to use these mechanisms. Thank you for your contribution to the organisation and we wish you the very best of luck.

  10. Helpful (3)

    "Great children willing to learn, poor staff treatment"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Graduate Teaching Assistant 

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time

    Pros

    Children are pushed to succeed in all areas.

    Cons

    Staff are micromanaged. It is a very toxic environment.

    Ark Schools Response

    September 24, 2019Senior Recruitment Advisor

    Thank you for your feedback. As an organisation, we value and take all feedback seriously and are always looking for ways to improve. We wanted to take the opportunity to address some of your comments and concerns. We recognise that we are working in challenging times, but we are working hard to ensure great outcomes for pupils and across our services. We are sorry that you did not choose to engage with us directly on the issues you were facing and allow us to support you through these, before posting on a forum such as this. We are sorry that you feel you were micromanaged, it is good feedback in that we may need to provide our managers with additional training; we do not want you to feel that you are working in a toxic environment, we will gather further feedback to try and change this as we want you to feel happy and to be able to thrive. Thank you for your contribution to the organisation and we wish you the best of luck.

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