The Academy is part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust, a multi-academy trust which is sponsored by the University of Brighton.

The trust’s Board of Trustees is ultimately responsible for the educational and financial performance of all of the academies in the trust; the trustees are the statutory governors of each academy and the company directors & charitable trustees of the University of Brighton Academies Trust.

Further information about the University of Brighton Academies Trust’s governance arrangements, including its Board of Trustees, Scheme of Delegation, Articles of Association and Funding Agreement, are available on the trust’s website.

A series of committees, including a Local Board for each academy (or group of academies), supports the Board of Trustees in fulfilling its responsibilities.

Local Board

Local Board members are volunteers representing different aspects of the academy community including parents/carers, staff and local people. The members contribute to the academy’s vision and future strategy, ensuring they complement the trust’s vision and values. They are responsible for keeping the academy at the heart of the community, maintaining strong community links and effective communication with all stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees. Local Board members ensure the celebration of staff, pupils and parents and carers is a priority to the academy. They are also responsible for monitoring pupil wellbeing, admissions, complaints and concerns.

Local Board members can be contacted through email at or in writing c/o the Academy. Local Board meeting minutes are available on request.

Our Local Board

Five co-opted members nominated by the Local Board Clare Hoggan - Chair of the Local Board
Sharon Sorrell - Safeguarding Link member
Rihanna Patel – Early years Link member
Adrian Sandiford
Robyn Dessoy
Leanne George
Two parent representatives, elected by the parents of the Academy Rob Nower
Anda Onu – SEN and LAC Link member
One staff representative elected by the staff of the Academy Felicity Cottrell
Primary Academy Principal Managey Powys
Clerk to the Local Board, UoBAT Trust Clerk Caroline Spender
Contribute to education in your community.

Mrs Clare Hoggan - Parent Board Member

Chair of the Local Board

I was elected as a Parent Governor just under 5 years ago while my eldest daughter was in year 2. She was so happy at Desmond Anderson, that I wanted to volunteer my time to ensure she stayed so and that her sister who was just about to start would have a similar experience. I became Chair of Governors a couple of years later. Things have changed quite a bit for us over those years and we are now a Local Board, a committee of the Board of Trustees of UoBAT, this allows us to focus on school strategy and the school community much more than we were able to in the past.

I have two daughters, one is in year four and the other is in year 7 at Thomas Bennett. I have lived in Tilgate for 15 years. I work as a Broadcast Engineer in London.

Mr Adrian Sandiford - Co-Opted Board Member

I have been a governor of the academy for ten years and Premises Manager of the school for 19 years.

I have four grown up children who all attended the academy.

Mrs Sharon Sorrell - Board Member

I have 1 daughter who started at the nursery and is now in Year 5 at Desmond Anderson and I’ve seen lots of changes during that time. I have been a co-opted member of the local board for a couple of years now and I also sit on the UoBAT HR and Remuneration Committee. Being a member of the local board gives me the opportunity to get involved in the current and future plans for the staff and children at Desmond Anderson. I work full time as a Learning and Development Manager for a global engineering business.

Mrs Felicity Cottrell – Co-opted Board Member

I have been on the Local Board since I started as Vice-Principal at Desmond Anderson in September 2016. I have been teaching for over 10 years having previously taught in Haywards Heath and at another school in Crawley. I absolutely love being a part of the Desmond Anderson team and strive for all children in the school to achieve their best. Being on the Local Board gives me a valuable insight into academy governance and enables me to support academy improvement even further.

Anda Onu - Parent Local Board Member

You don’t know what you can do until you try …. I moved to England a year after finishing studying Ecology and Environmental Protection “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Romania in 2007. In the year preceding the departure I gained work experience as a laboratory assistant for environmental control and chemical analysis of industrial waste water which helped me to develop valuable team work and communication skills. In the years that followed, I studied the English culture, religions, its values and the social intercommunication by working as an Au-Pair and Childminder.

Being a person that loves changes, I started working as a personal assistant in 2015 for TO Physiotherapy and still carries on at the present.

In September 2017 I started work as a Team Assistant for ACF Equity Research. I have strong analytical, planning and execution skills and I love working as part of a team both inside ACF and externally with our clients and prospective clients. I am used to working with and within senior leadership teams and understand the needs of small and medium sized companies through my current and previous professional experience.

I am passionate about the environment and work as a volunteer for the Sussex Wildlife Trust doing conservation work at the Old Lodge nature reserve since 2017.

In my spare time I volunteer as a Local Board within University of Brighton Academies Trust, in the local school’s PTA and have been a juror at the Royal Court of Justice in London.

Leanne George

I am the proud mother of two primary aged girls and have become interested in how educational provision is met across the Country, but particularly in our School. With the changes to Desmond Anderson over the past few years, I wanted to be able to help support the school on its journey and felt that becoming a Local Board member in June 2019 enables me to do this. Through my work commitments, being a mother and now a board member, I feel I bring a balanced viewpoint to our committee and the decisions we have to make.

Rihanna Patel

I recently joined the Local Board to help support changes in the school to encourage school community. I am also the Early Years link which allows me to focus on the strategy for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 and how we can improve and give the children the chance to thrive right from the start. I have lived in Crawley most my life and Desmond is one of my local primary schools. I currently work in London as a Civil Servant.

Robyn Dessoy – Co-opted member and Early years link member

Previously a student at the The University of Brighton, I work for Red River Software based in Horsham. I am currently facilitating a project in conjunction with Millais School which involves travelling to and being in contact with Millais and 5 other secondary schools in the Sussex area.

During my two years in sixth form at Imberhorne School I was a student governor and sat on the school’s governing board to represent the students.

Being a member of the academy’s local board provides me with the opportunity to give back to the community, support the school in its development of the students and to learn about the ‘behind the scenes’ action which goes on in schools