Lucy Heller has led the non-profit multi-academy trust Ark, which stands for “Absolute Returns for Kids”, since 2012. She has been at Ark since 2004, joining from TSL Education, where she was joint managing director. Her organisation attempts to improve its 35 academies and campaigns for closing the “achievement gap” more broadly. Heller has said MATs such as the one she leads are important agents of accountability and responsibility in an academisation environment where an unprecedented number of schools are given substantial freedoms. MAT heads such as Heller have largely proved to be allies of the government and a friendly alternative to local authorities.