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Governors Biographies

Please click on a name below to find out more about each of our Governors. 

  • Robert Hardy - Chair of Governors

    I have worked as a SEND Manager for different councils around the country and joined the Governing Body to try to support the school to continue to do its very best to support the children who attend.

  • Lisa Grufferty

    I am a mother of 2 girls and my eldest daughter is at Hill Park School and joined in 2015 (Year 2).


    I have worked at Gatwick Airport for over 28 years.  I am currently the Head of Strategic Planning for the airport owners (GAL).  I have held various senior positions including, project and programme management.  I have led various sizes of teams and have gained experience in strategic planning, budget and staff management.


    I joined the Governors in June 2017, I enjoy being part of the team and using my Business expertise whilst ensuring that we continue to improve all children's education, as everyone deserves to reach their full potential.

  • Elizabeth Wood

    I am privileged to approach my role as a governor from a dual perspective: currently I have two daughters (aged 5 and 13) happily attending Hill Park and I was previously a teacher at the school for 18 years before leaving to adopt my second child.
    During my twenty-three years teaching, I worked mainly with students who have profound and multiple learning difficulties. I now continue this passion as a parent. I am keen to ensure an on-going, excellent educational provision for the diverse needs of all pupils attending Hill Park School.

    I am enjoying being a governor at this exciting time of expansion and development of our school and am looking forward to experiencing the wide range of opportunities provided when my eldest daughter moves to the upper site in September, whilst my youngest continues through the Lower site.

    In my 'spare time' I am a volunteer befriender for Amaze's Face2Face project and when time permits I am involved in the PTA.

  • Clare Whitworth

    I have a 9 year old son that attends Hill Park. Before having my son I worked in various roles then became a mature student attending The University of Sussex going on to become a Secondary and Sixth form teacher. I now work as an Individual Needs Assistant/Teacher in a main stream Primary School.
    In my spare time I enjoy reading and sewing. I also spend quite a bit of our time visiting cafes and trains with my son that I also enjoy. I also volunteer for the local charity Amaze as a Face2face befriender.

  • Sarah Berliner

    Hello, I am Sarah Berliner. I am really pleased to be a governor at Hill Park and hope I can contribute to help this lovely school provide the education and nurture that is just right for your children.

    My background is in teaching and I worked as a teacher in Portslade for 6 years. I am an early years specialist and have spent many years teaching in reception and nursery classes. I am passionate about play and outdoor learning for children

     For the last 8 years, I have been a team leader of EMAS (Ethnic Minority Achievement Service) a service to support bilingual and Black Minority Ethnic children achieve in Brighton and Hove schools.

    I am a mother of two and have interests in music, reading, and dance. I am passionate about equality and creating opportunities for individuals.

    I am the Local Authority governor which means I am able to offer some feedback about current ideas and directives in terms of the council and I can share key messages between school and local authority officers.

  • Samantha Simson

    My name is Sam and I have recently joined the Governing Body at Hill Park School. I have been working as a teacher at the school for the past 3 years, mainly working in the PMLD department. I have been involved in the recent transition from Hillside / Downs Park Schools into the merged Hill Park School and have enjoyed being a part of this process. I look forward to continuing to support the school to grow and develop in its new form. 

  • Nick Maloney

    I am a dad to two children - my son who attends Hill Park at the upper site and my daughter who will start school in 2022. I am a teacher of economics, currently working in the independent sector. During 23 years teaching, I have worked in both the state and independent sectors, holding a variety of positions, including Head of Sixth Form and Assistant Head overseeing curriculum.

    I am a trustee of Phab, a disability inclusion charity, and helped set up a Phab social club in NE London before moving to Brighton. In my spare time I like to read or dream about attending gigs (like I did before kids)! I’m a qualified Mountain Leader which basically reflects that fact I’ve spent a lot of time walking in the hilly bits of the UK.

    I am passionate about inclusion and look forward to giving parents a voice as Hill Park continues to evolve.

  • David Plant

    I'm a new Parent Governor; my eldest son recently started (Y8, 2023) at Hill Park after being out of education for 3 years (not a choice). 

    I co-own a Brewery and Music Festivals. Previously I worked with UK and Foreign Governments and Organisations running Culture, Tourism & Media projects; and ran Music, Film & Lifestyle Magazines. I've also been a Journalist and worked in Biotechnology developing Antibiotics. 

    I want to use my experience - however I can - to help Hill Park and all its pupils do the best they possibly can, whilst at school and as they prepare to leave. My background is not educational but I hope to bring a different perspective from years of problem solving, perseverance and finding a way to make things happen.

  • Rosie Wright

    I am a mother of 3 boys and my eldest attends The Hive. 

    I used to work as a Primary Teacher in Brighton and then joined the private sector as a Sports Coach.  I’ve also taught non-verbal autistic kids in a specialist setting and I have a keen understanding of how schools can effectively provide education and support for children who have a variety of needs.

    I’m a very active member of my younger children’s schools PCTA (currently the secretary!) and enjoy helping to run events that enrich the children’s experiences and make money for the school.

    In my spare time I enjoy playing netball and tennis and taking my son to Marvel films. 

    I’m very excited to be joining the Hill Park Governors and helping with supporting the school.

  • Ann Flynn

    My name is Ann, and I have recently joined the governing body at Hill Park. 

    I am currently a manager to a social work programme in a university.

    I have previously qualified and worked as a nurse and social worker and bring this knowledge to the role as a governor at the school.

    In my spare time I enjoy going for walks, reading and going to the cinema.

  • Anita Sandall

    Hi, I’m Anita. Having attended 3 Portslade schools it’s a huge honour to join the impassioned and knowledgeable school & governing team that is Hill Park. A private sector first career as a Communications Director took me off course from SEND for some years: I retrained when starting my own family - and I’ve been in primarily Specialist /PMLD send settings for 9 years now including as a Deputy Senco and Senco. I’m really interested in the work on neural pathways, Nutrition and Dyslexia - as well as Dyscalculia and would like to train to tutor in this. Extremely passionate about our incredible bedrock of support teams gaining the recognition they deserve and our  young people who in 2024 need a voice more than ever before.


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