Thursday, 6 October 2011

Of Former Heads and School Alumni

In a bored moment a few days back I Googled my old school : Northampton School for Boys. I was amazed by their impressive boast of alumni which includes the guy who discovered DNA and the 11th Doctor Who.
Maybe I was just part of a bad intake the year I first went to the school but the impression I got was that when we were through the otherside most of us were bound for the dole queue rather than university or certainly stardom.
In fairness to the Head at the time, the year I went to the school was its first year as a Comprehensive. Until then the teachers didn't really have to worry about controlling their class.Discipline, or perhaps more correctly lack of it, was never a serious issue. Once Comprehensive all sorts of boys were at the school causing all sorts of mayhem and many of the teachers were struggling to find the new style of teaching that was required.

I'm starting my working day meeting a former Head teacher, John Stevenson. Until recently he was Principal at Holywood Grammar School whose alumni includes the Open golf champion Rory McIlroy. Last time I met John he told me a great story about the day after Rory McIlroy won the Open. He said there was a media frenzy and he did nothing all day except give interviews from Rory's golf club for the likes of the BBC, Sky News and CNN. No doubt he felt the centre attention. And then the last interview was done the media circus cleared off and they went looking for their next big interview. John said that within an hour there was no sign that they had ever been and I went home wondering what an earth that was all about.

I guess I left Northampton School for Boys feeling much the same thing...

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