Having completed a B.A. (Hons) degree in Fine Art at Leeds Polytechnic, I spent the following year working for the Merseyside Artist-in-Residence based in studios near the city centre. This ‘interesting’ experience encouraged me to seek a ‘real’ job so I decided to complete a PGCE course at Leicester University and then secured a job as Teacher of Art at a school near Southend-on-Sea in Essex. Fifteen years later I moved to the nearby FitzWimarc School in Rayleigh as Head of Creative Arts, where I also met my wife, Julie, who was appointed as an English Teacher on the same day. Whilst at The FitzWimarc School I also completed my NPQH qualification and subsequently moved to The Ockendon School as Assistant Headteacher with responsibility for staff induction and directing the student teacher programme for GTP and PGCE courses. My final post in the UK was at The Skinners’ Kent Academy in Royal Tunbridge Wells, where my role as Assistant Principal included the line management of five departments, overseeing staff professional development and directing teaching and learning and middle and senior leader programmes. During my last term at SKA, the school was inspected by OFSTED and subsequently moved from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’.
Having gained an in-depth knowledge of the English educational system for thirty-one years, I found the opportunity to join BSB and develop my own knowledge and skills in a contrasting system too hard to turn down. I believe passionately about education, the positivity of young people and the hope it gives us for future generations. Nothing we do is as important.
I was born and raised in Wigan, Lancashire but finally moved away from the ‘dark satanic mills’ to seek enlightenment at art college in Leeds. Having discovered that Leeds was just as cold and dismal as Wigan, I headed south to seek warmer climes in ‘sunny’ Essex. It was here that I developed my love of walking, cycling and bird watching. Rural Essex can be utterly delightful and invariably sunnier than ‘The North’.
My wife and I also enjoy the ‘Vie Chateau’ at our holiday home in a small village in the Charente region of France. We enjoy the quiet calm and the climate as well as the region’s spectacular scenery and lakes. Our son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter also take advantage of our hospitality – particularly our granddaughter, who regularly stays for up to four weeks during the summer holidays and always asks me to drive ‘a little more slowly’ on the way to the airport when she is being taken home, just to make the holiday last that bit longer.