Although in one sense it seems strange to be writing for the final time as a member of the ESMS staff I am doing so in the full realisation that the time is right for me to move forward and to embrace the future and all the exciting opportunities which lie ahead.
I remember very clearly my first day working for the schools and even my first ever lesson in August 1974 teaching English to a Higher Set 4 in a portacabin behind Old College. I had been appointed to teach Classics as assistant to Barrie Fleet but, as there was not a full timetable available, I was asked to teach some English on the grounds that I could speak the language! I am not sure that would work today!
It would have been inconceivable to imagine that I would still be here almost 48 years later but in truth I never seriously considered leaving and the schools seemed happy for me to stay. I do not think that my decision reflected any lack of ambition but more the fact that I was able to fulfil so many of my ambitions working in what I continue to believe are the best schools in the country. Why would I have wanted to go anywhere else? My many years as a teacher, latterly as Headmaster and Vice Principal, served to remind me every day of just how extraordinary the pupils who have attended the schools are, a view reinforced in recent years by the privilege I have felt meeting and communicating with so many of them now that they are Former Pupils. They remain extraordinary!
I have shared too many memories already in recent months and will simply close by thanking every one of you for allowing me to play a very small part in your lives as pupils, former pupils, parents and colleagues. I will continue to follow the schools from afar, and hopefully attend major events from time to time. All that remains is for me to wish you every happiness in the future and to ask you to stay in touch with the schools and to support today’s and tomorrow’s young people in any way you can. We are all members for life of an incredible community and we all have so much to offer to each other.