Where are you from? What is your educational background?
My family are from London and although we moved around a little, I was fortunate enough to attend a state grammar school in Kent for most of my secondary education. I graduated from Loughborough University in 1994 with Joint Honours in English and Physical Education and Sports Science. I then returned the following year to complete a PGCE in Physical Education and History.
How has your background influenced you as an educator?
I think back to being at school in the 1980s, and remember the teacher strikes, the advent of the National Curriculum and progressive developments in removing corporal punishment as well as beginning to tackle racism and other inequalities. It was an interesting time, but more than anything
What attracted you to teaching?
One of my best friends at Loughborough was a few years ahead of me and he was doing his PGCE while I was an undergraduate. The tales he told on his return from a day at school were mesmerising. His face lit up whenever he spoke of his successes and I suppose I felt then that this would be a job with
When did you become a headmaster, how long have you been there, why did you join and where were you before?
I came to Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, Riverside in August 2017 as Principal, after nine years in Deputy Headmaster positions; three years at LVS Ascot, and then latterly at Millfield, a large boarding school in the South West of England. My involvement in boarding education began even earlier in
I enjoyed changing the shape of the school day at Ascot to benefit the students, delivering a ‘1 to 1’ iPad programme at Millfield, and helping to introduce ‘[email protected]’; an innovative way of managing the transition from prep schools to senior schools in a boarding context. None of this was possible without the support and love of my wife Sam (now a teacher) and our girls (now with us at Shrewsbury). My work in boarding led me to be offered consultancies in China, Malaysia and South Korea and these opened my eyes to the possibilities
Once I met my predecessor (Stephen Holroyd – Principal 2005-2017) and the Governors and seen the Riverside campus there was no turning back. What
What are the benefits of
What struck me when I became involved in Shrewsbury was the sheer quality of all that is happening. Excellence is something I have aspired
The safety and happiness of each child makes a huge difference to learning, and creating the right environment for this is now my role as Principal. I have said on numerous occasions that the strength of the community at Shrewsbury is one of the reasons why we experience so much success. Students draw on the support of each other, their parents and staff. Students and staff enjoy each other’s successes, and celebrate together. Students and staff also do an amazing job of supporting each other through tougher times. Thirdly, I am even more convinced now than ever before, of the need for breadth. More and more employers and universities speak of what is learned outside the classroom making a significant impact on recruitment – it is the distinguishing factor. At Shrewsbury we seek to offer opportunity across a broad range of subjects and activities that offer students the chance to find and fulfil their potential with the guiding hand of superb professionals.
What have been your biggest challenges/ success as a headmaster?
I’ve spent much of my career in leadership positions, but as someone relatively new to experiencing the demands of Headship firsthand, one of my early reflections is that an extraordinary range of issues that require your attention over relatively brief periods. This
The successful build of a
Tell us more about Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury Riverside is one of the most successful schools in Bangkok. Now with over 1,700 students, we have grown swiftly over the past fifteen years. The academic achievements of the students have been quite remarkable and last year our
The parents have been a key part of this journey and their aspiration and high standards have helped to drive the school forward. The Shrewsbury Parents Group provide me with excellent,
This sustained success has allowed students to access the very best universities in the world, but this doesn’t happen by accident. Our award winning Higher Education Department provides sage and bespoke advice away from the encumbrance of a teaching timetable. We are currently refurbishing our library to meet the needs of more modern working methods supporting collaboration and research, as well as continuing to provide the opportunity to access inspirational reading. Alumni also had an impact on our new ‘Computing in Action’ curriculum at Year 7 and 8 where students will apply computing skills to physical challenges – exactly what alumni are now doing in Silicon Valley.
Shrewsbury is also providing breadth. Huge numbers of our students play music to a high level, ever growing numbers are playing sport, exercising regularly, painting, acting, exploring, leading, and learning in new environments. Our “You-time!” after school activities programme offers unparalleled opportunities to explore passions, try new things, to fail and succeed.Shrewsbury is also providing breadth. Huge numbers of our students play music to a high level, ever growing numbers are playing sport, exercising regularly, painting, acting, exploring, leading, and learning in new environments. Our “You-time!” after school activities programme offers unparalleled opportunities to explore passions, try new things, to fail and succeed. Further reasons for thoroughly enjoying being Principal at a school like Shrewsbury in a thriving city.