I have lived in Portsmouth for nearly 50 years and my three children all attended local schools in Southsea. I worked as a member of academic staff at the University in Portsmouth from 1970 until 2011 and, during the 1990s, had responsibility for overseeing the training of secondary school teachers in subjects such as mathematics, science, english and modern foreign languages. This provided me with opportunities for involvement with local schools and with officers from the City’s education department. I was also closely involved with the education and training of social workers, nurses and probation officers.
In 1996 I was elected as a parent governor at Priory School and subsequently served as chair of governors there from 2002 for a period of eleven years. In 2000 I was elected by the other parent governors in Portsmouth to serve as the secondary parent governor representative on the City’s Education Committee and, in this capacity, I was closely involved in detailed scrutiny of the plans to reorganise the provision of special needs education across the City. When the decision was taken to close the East Shore and Futcher schools and to open a new special school close to the junction of Milton Road and Locksway Road, I was asked to act as the chair of the shadow Governing Body and to oversee plans for the development of what became Mary Rose Academy. Since 2013 I have chaired the Solent Academies Trust that has responsibility for the running of the Mary Rose, Cliffdale Primary and Redwood Park academies. I was appointed as a National Leader of Governance by the National College for Teaching and Leadership in 2014.
On a personal level my main interests are sport and music. I enjoy listening to music and can often be found at the Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea, trying - with increasing difficulty - to blend in with an audience that seems to get younger with every visit I make. I also enjoy playing the guitar and the saxophone, even though this activity invariably generates strong protests from the rest of the family. For twenty five years, I played football in the local Sunday leagues and, although a combination of injuries and age forced me to abandon this several years ago, I am a season ticket holder at Fratton Park. I am also a passionate cricket fan - my proud claim is to have played competitive cricket in five separate decades - and am a member of both Surrey and Hampshire Cricket Clubs.