On the board

15th December 2000 at 00:00
Surinder Singh Sandu, 36, is a parent governor at Clayton village primary, on the Yorkshire moors near Bradford. Around 20 per cent of the school's pupils are from ethnic minorities, mainly Muslim, Sikh and Hindu. A father-of-two, Surinder works as a local government officer and has been a governor for more than two years.

What made you want to be a governor?

I wanted to put something back in terms of my life skills into the education system.

Has the experience fulfilled your expectations?

Definitely. It's been very encouraging, very rewarding but also very frustrating. There's an element of challenge. I am the first Asian governor they have had at Clayton, so I've been able to have a cultural influence too, which the head is very enthusiastic about.

What dodon't you like?

I don't like the length of meetings - the time commitment is very demanding. I do like having an interest in children's education and persuading members of the community to get involved.

Has the experience changed you?

I am much calmer and think more methodically about things.

What is the biggest, best or worst change you've seen during your time as a governor?

What does your family think of your commitment?

My wife thinks it's too much. I am involved in so many things and I am also studying at Leeds University for a degree in environmental health. But I believe in getting involved as much as possible.

Where does governing fit into your life?

It takes up a lot of my time. Governors have to think about prioritising. I also pop into school now and again: the head encourages that. I also get involved in any social event that is taking place.

If you could wave a wand, what would you wish for the school?

All the usual things people want for their child: more funding, better standards, more input into special needs.

And who or what would you make disappear?

I wouldn't want anyone to disappear. It's good to work collectively to solve problems.

Who would be your ideal fantasy governor?

Me! I'm becoming a good governor, I think.

Janet Prescott


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