Ark Schools Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Ark Schools Reviews

Updated 27 de Sep 2019

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2.6
StarStarStarStarStar
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36%
Recommend to a Friend
59%
Approve of CEO
Ark Schools CEO Lucy Heller (no image)
Lucy Heller
14 Ratings
  1. "Amazing start to work at this amazing Charity, full of incredible Schools!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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

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    Cons

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

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you are doing - you are fantastic!

    Ark Schools2019-09-19

    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. Helpful (1)

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

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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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    Advice to Management

    Trust your employees to get on with the job. They are trained and qualified adults. Reward innovation and creativity, not just conformity. Listen and act upon your employees' concerns in a timely manner. Treat staff with respect and talk to them like fellow adults. Acknowledge the hard work that ALL of your staff put in. A little bit of reward goes a long way. More cakes in the staffroom, end of... term BBQ, etc - they cost money but are so worth it - they let the staff know that they are appreciated and allows them to socialise together. Use some of the money spent on top heavy SLT on much needed support/TAs for pupils with SEND. TAs do not necessarily have to be graduates either.

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    Ark Schools2019-09-27
  3. Helpful (1)

    "Intense environment with a rigid way of doing things"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    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

    Advice to Management

    Trust the workforce- they don’t need to be treated like children

    Ark Schools2019-09-02

    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.

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  4. Helpful (2)

    "A horrible place to work."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating staff like robots.

    Ark Schools2019-08-11

    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.

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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great children willing to learn, poor staff treatment"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • 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 Schools2019-06-06

    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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  6. Helpful (2)

    "Incompetent!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Ark Schools part-time

    Pros

    There are a few good people working for them

    Cons

    - FAR too much micro-management - Pay is terrible and not commensurate with real professional fees (ironic when the CEO banks close to 1/4 of a million) - Don't feel listened to - Poor communication with employees - Management seem to pass the buck

    Advice to Management

    Pay more/stop micro-managing and treat your employees with more respect/concern for their well-being - trust them to get on with the job!

    Ark Schools2019-03-21

    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 patronising 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 and we wish you the best of luck in all that you do.

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  7. Helpful (2)

    "Really don’t"

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

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

    Pros

    None this is a miserable place to work

    Cons

    Poisonous working environment, poor staff retention

    Advice to Management

    Try another career

    Ark Schools2019-02-08

    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 a 'poisonous working environment' very seriously and want to address this straight away. We are doing all we can to make Ark Schools a great place to work. 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.

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  8. Helpful (2)

    "Outstanding education, poor work environment."

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

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

    Pros

    In an Ark school, pupils always say that they enjoy being challenged and learning interesting things. There are alot of days that involve science, maths and many more. As an academy, there is the freedom for Teachers to test the waters on making education interesting. More opportunity to help that pupil (learning, personal and social development).

    Cons

    It is unfortunate that the work environment is very toxic. SLT tend to have the upper hand over staff of a position under them. It is easy for SLTs to get away with indirect mistreatment. This is not questioned by HR. Examples can be by constantly picking on staff members under them for no good reasons. This is dissapointing, as some of this has nothing to do with the childrens wellbeing, but their ego.... Treatment like this can have a big impact on someones career. There is also very high expectations in performance, but will give little back in terms of career prospects. Do not expect a pay rise.

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    Advice to Management

    -Practice what you preach; if you want the pupils to understand respect and compassion, show this to all staff members regardless of background/ position. -Think how your actions/ intentions affect others. - Be grateful of the people that you work with. -Have respect for others career development. -Have enough staff ratio to reduce safeguarding risk.

    Ark Schools2018-11-21

    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 comments about the 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 and we wish you the best of luck in all that you do.

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  9. Helpful (6)

    "Needs to change."

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

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

    Pros

    Worked in a supportive and sociable team. Worked for a forward thinking head of team that pushed for our growth and development unfortunately this is not typical of a head of team/senior manager across the organisation.

    Cons

    Lack of diversity, particularly at senior management level. Have no chance to progress if you don't fit a certain mould. Majority of junior staff are overworked and underpaid which leads to high turnover in certain roles as staff at this level do not feel valued by their managers/organisation. Hierarchical structure which means a lengthy 'sign off' process that pro longs decision making and senior management... team often change their mind like the wind so hard to implement changes or improve process which will benefit the employees/organisation. Senior management spend too much time analysing data and presenting results rather than implementing change e.g they will share staff survey results but not share how they are going to address important issues.

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    Advice to Management

    Make diversity and inclusion a priority. Stop hiring in your own image. Stop making decisions at a top level without getting buy in from the employees these decisions will ultimately effect . Listen to issues being raised by current employees and you need to be pro active in trying to resolve them and not just pass it on to HR to deal with. Lead by example and actively embody the 'Ark Values' instead of... using them as propoganda at any given opportunity. If senior management aren't even embodying these 'values' why do you expect everyone else to? Treat others how you want to be treated.

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    Ark Schools2018-10-07

    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 a lack of diversity very seriously and want to address this straight away; we are doing what we can to be a diverse workforce and to recruit a wide range of individuals from different backgrounds who possess lots of different skills and knowledge, we want to do better at this. 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 best of luck in all that you do.

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  10. Helpful (2)

    "Good cause, quick career development but no work/life balance, constant pressure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I worked at Ark Schools full-time

    Pros

    -The Cause: all children and young people need good teachers. The kids are challenging but keep you on your toes and are fun. -Career Development: move up quite quickly -Training: access to training (mainly classroom techniques) at all stages of your career -Can do and will do attitude: from management and across the network. Filters down. -It's People: it’s a tough place to work, but everyone is in it... together- had a great support network of teachers -The Network: access to support from other school in the network (if you manage to form a good relationship with them- don't expect it just to be handed to you on a plate)

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    Cons

    -No work/life balance: be prepared to work long, exhausting hours during the week and weekend -School hours: many of the schools have reduced their lunch times from 1 hour to 40-30mins and have no morning break. Some schools have compulsory enrichment time after school until 5.30pm. These are hard long days with lots of pupil contact time. Sometimes so exhausting productivity and lesson planning is badly affected.... -Pressure/ results driven: every kid is a working number or value. The results become before everything. Little appreciation for a holistic education. -Quick career development but lack of support: if you want to rise up the ranks you can but the appropriate level of support is not given. -Lack of emotional care/mental wellbeing - the demographic is a tough crowd. The demands and pressure of getting good exam results is constant. Many people left in my time due to stress, poor mental health. Not just individuals, whole departments each year. -Never switch off: 5am regular emails being delivered, sometimes until 11pm. - Excusing the pupils for poor results and behaviour: its' the teachers fault. Many teachers lost their confidence.

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    Advice to Management

    Give more support to your teachers. Holistic Education approach. Not sure how to do it but address the work/life balance

    Ark Schools2018-09-27

    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 lack of support and no work life balance very seriously and want to address this straight away; the education sector can be challenging and we know that often our dedicated staff work tirelessly to deliver a service and this in turn can lead to overtime and increased demands; we want to support our staff to manage this and to be fulfilled at work, we promise to continue to work on how this can be achieved. 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 best of luck in all that you do.

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Found 35 reviews