I have lived in Portsmouth for over 30 years and my three children have all attended local schools in Southsea. I have worked as a member of academic staff at the University in Portsmouth since 1970 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 have also in the past been closely involved with social work and nurse education and am currently engaged in the education and training of probation officers
In 1996 I was elected as a parent governor at Priory School and became Chair of Governors there in 2002. 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 the 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 the approval of the plans for the building and the appointment of the new headteacher and other staff. In addition to my work in the education field, I also chair the Portsmouth Racial Harassment Forum and, in this capacity, participate in the work of the Portsmouth Crime and Disorder/Safer Communities Partnership.
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 singing - even though this activity invariably generates strong protests from the rest of the family! For 25 years, I played football in the local Sunday leagues and, although a combination of injury and age forced me to abandon this several years ago, I am a season ticket holder at Fratton Park and enjoy watching my two sons who play in the local leagues. 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.