Parent governor elections: Statements from three campaigners

The election of three new parent governors are now taking place and election papers are dropping through the door. Three active campaigners with Hands Off Hove Park School campaign are among the nine candidates, here are their statements:

Sarah Arjun

I am a parent of two children at Hove Park School and for the last five years have demonstrated my commitment to the school by taking an active part in the Friends of Hove Park Committee of which I am currently the treasurer.

I have been a teacher for more than 20 years with extensive teaching experience in mainstream schools which includes several years as a specialist teacher working with pupils with Special Educational Needs.  I have an excellent understanding of education and its current and changing issues.

I have been a parent governor before and therefore know the commitment that this entails.

I am committed to there being a fair state system of state education for all and believe that every child should have the right to attend a good local school within the local authority.

I believe that being part of a school is being part of the community. If elected I will act as an advocate for parents to represent their broad and balanced views.


Sharon Duggal

I am a parent of twin boys in Y10 at HPS and a daughter about to enter Y7. I strongly believe all children, regardless of ability or background, deserve an excellent education in local comprehensive state schools with fair and equal admissions systems. I actively campaign for this, including through the Hands Off Hove Park School campaign.

Currently I am Head of Communications for South East Dance, where I develop advocacy strategy and oversee marketing, PR and communications. Previously I worked extensively with readers and writers setting up arts festivals and outreach projects, connecting hard-to-reach communities and young people with inspirational writers and artists, including secondary schools across Sussex and NE London. I am a trustee of Little Green Pig, a writing project for children and young people in Brighton and Hove.  I have an MA, Arts & Management and MPhil, Creative Writing.

In 20+ years of professional experience, I have focused on increasing access to culture by exploring ways to break down barriers which stop people getting involved in creative activity. I am experienced in connecting and communicating with a diverse range of people, including under-represented communities, and think these skills could be useful to a governing body.


Mark Radcliffe

I have a daughter just finishing Year 9 who is flourishing at the school and I would like to contribute to ensuring that that experience continues and is shared by as many children as possible.

I am a senior lecturer in Health Sciences at the University of Brighton and as such have a good grasp of how the education system works, what challenges it faces and what creative opportunities might exist to help make the student experience better.

I believe schools need excellent teaching, progressive and flexible leadership, good effective governance, excellent links with the community and a clear focus on the reason they exist: good quality education.

I think schools benefit from clear and transparent rules, consistency, excellent morale and a genuine commitment to the educational needs of all students. As a parent governor I would want to help keep the school alive to those core tasks.

I’m also a novelist and I do community and educational work, helping people to write. I think finding space in the school to encourage students to be productive and creative and helping them with that would be a good thing.

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