Mr Blaikie, everyone at Regents International School Pattaya is looking forward to welcoming you and your partner to Thailand in August. We’d really like to ask you a few questions before you arrive. To start with, would you allow us a glimpse into your professional career so far?
“Thank you for your interest! I have worked in a variety of settings. I was born in the North West of England (in Lytham St Annes – the same town to which Mike Walton is moving!) and went to an ancient boys’ school called Kirkham Grammar. I graduated and trained to teach at Sheffield University before taking up my first teaching post as an English and Drama teacher at Ecclesfield School, a huge comprehensive in a city famed for its steel industry.
From my urban apprenticeship I moved to the Yorkshire Dales where I was Head of English in a scenic rural market town. I then worked at a special school for young people with emotional and behavioural difficulties before taking up my first headship in Lancaster at a small 11-16 state school. After 4 years the school was celebrated as one of the UK’s most improved schools and this spurred me on to seek my second headship in a larger school in Winchcombe near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire where numbers grew rapidly and academic standards were raised significantly.
I moved to Alcester Grammar School in 2002 and I have spent a happy 12 years making it one of the UK’s highest achieving institutions. Expectations and standards are very high and the school has steadily grown in number to its current roll of about 1100 boys and girls. There are no fewer than 540 Sixth Form students and the school offers 29 A Level subjects so it is highly academic and very successful having, like my previous 2 schools, been awarded outstanding status by Her Majesty’s school inspectors. My current school has also been a specialist school for performing arts and science for many years and I am most proud of the International School Award which was accorded by the British Council in recognition of a vast array of initiatives and projects involving hundreds of my students.
I am a great believer in young people fulfilling their academic potential in the classroom but I am also keen to promote a sharp awareness of global issues and adopt a holistic approach to international education. I fully appreciate the importance of all people being mindful of their own culture but also value any opportunities to understand other cultures and traditions across the globe. My current school has strong networks in numerous countries, in ways similar to Regents’ Round Square projects, and I value these educational and multicultural links immensely. My own involvement in trips to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Russia and China, amongst many others, has been the guiding inspiration in my professional quest to develop my own career and seek the post I am about to undertake. People who have known me for many years are not surprised to see me making this move as it is a job I have always wanted to do. After considerable care and thought I am delighted that I am coming to Regents. Having visited in early June I am more convinced than ever that this is the right place for me and I feel aligned in so many ways to the ethos and culture of this attractive and welcoming school.”