CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Hertfordshire Life today CLICK HERE

Meet the Head

PUBLISHED: 15:15 24 August 2015 | UPDATED: 15:23 24 August 2015

Bishop's Stortford College

Bishop's Stortford College

Archant

Headmaster of Bishop’s Stortford College Jeremy Gladwin gave up the idea of studying to be a barrister in favour of geography and teaching. He says, ‘I still wear the black gown four times a week, but I haven’t yet found the need to wear a wig!’

Jeremy GladwinJeremy Gladwin

If you hadn’t become a teacher, what career would you have chosen?

Before going on my gap year to New Zealand in 1980, I had a place at university to read law. I intended to be a barrister as a result of being entranced by an armed robbery trial I witnessed at the Old Bailey. I wanted to be the man in the funny wig and the black gown. But I loved teaching so much that prior to starting at Durham I arranged to change degrees from law to geography in order to be able to share my love of geography.

Was there a school dinner you couldn’t stand?

This would have to be either gristly meat (a staple of 1960s and 70s school food) or tapioca – we called it frogspawn. Do they still even sell this grim pudding?

If you were Prime Minister for a day, what would be the first thing you’d do?

I’d instruct the Education Secretary to halve the pace of change in GCSE and A Level to allow one to bed in before changing the other - and this in proper consultation with the profession. Could they please give teachers the chance to get to grips with one initiative before piling more on? Is it any wonder that heads are leaving the profession in large numbers? They are on initiative overload.

What would be your Desert Island disc?

It would be between two probably. I am a former cathedral chorister (Worcester) and love sacred choral music. My favourite is Vierne’s Messe Solonnelle. For that chill-out moment, it has to be the slow movement of Shostakovich’s 2nd Piano Concerto – it’s simply sublime.

What’s your favourite film?

I don’t have a favourite, I like so many different genres. The most powerful film I have seen has to be Schindler’s List. For years I would not watch any films based on the Holocaust, because I can’t cope with this period of history – it is so incomprehensible in its sheer horror. However, I was persuaded to join a school trip to Poland and was told that I had to prepare myself. We visited the Imperial War Museum exhibition, I read Primo Levi and I watched The Pianist, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Schindler’s List. When I sat at Auschwitz/Birkenau, looking down the infamous railway line to that iconic gatehouse, through which millions of Jews and other Nazi victims passed on their way to the gas chambers, I was taken back to the film and I just sat and cried. Sentimental probably, but that visit was perhaps one of the most powerful and amazing school trips I have been on. I think everyone should go there once. And once is all it will be for me.

How do you relax away from work?

I try and go once a week to Evensong at St John’s College, Cambridge. This is ‘me’ time, time out from the hustle and bustle of the busy life of a big school. Sometimes I just fall asleep; other times I drift away to another place listening to what must be one of the best choirs in the country. Having recently completed a MEd in Educational Leadership at Cambridge, I have fallen in love with this beautiful city, which has become something of a second home. Dinner at one of the colleges afterwards is the perfect end to the day.

What’s special about your school?

The college is the most wonderful community of adults and children from the age of four upwards. The children are so purposeful and successful without ever displaying a hint of arrogance. People really care for one another, whether staff or pupils, and this is quite simply the happiest school I have been associated with. It is my great privilege to lead the three schools – pre-prep, prep and senior school – that comprise Bishop’s Stortford College.

Did you know?

We are sometimes known as the ‘School for Spies’. The college has produced seven senior members of the intelligence services, including two heads of MI5, (one of whom, Sir Dick White, became the first person also to head MI6), the head of the Foreign Office and two deputy directors of MI5, including Peter Wright, author of Spycatcher. He was the agent who the Thatcher government failed to gag - he proudly told of how in the 1950s, the service ‘bugged and burgled our way across London at the state’s behest, while pompous civil servants in Whitehall pretended to look the other way.’ I have yet to work out why the school has produced so many possessors of state secrets, but it’s a fascinating fact.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hertfordshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hertfordshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hertfordshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

250 years ago this month a baron’s servant smashed down a bedroom door in St Albans’ White Hart Inn to find a prince in bed with his master’s wife. Cue a court case, a delighted press, and much airing of royal underwear

Read more
November 2018
17:09

Escape to the Chateau star Angel Adoree is currently reaping the benefits of her incredible vision and drive to build an overseas wedding and lifestyle business from scratch with husband Dick Strawbridge. Here she tells Essex Life about series five of the hit Channel 4 show and how a strong Essex work ethic helped her dream so big | Words: Denise Marshall

Read more
16:28

Spirit Yachts is a Suffolk success story. After 25 years of designing and building luxury vessels sailed all over the world, it has plenty to celebrate | Words: Ross Bentley

Read more
13:13

Actor Tom Burke talks to JUDI SPIERS about his production of Don Carlos staged by his own theatre company Ara, in association with Exeter’s Northcott Theatre

Read more

As the Lord Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James, or Bishop Graham to his flock and many friends, prepares to retire, he bids a fond farewell to Norfolk

Read more
November 2018
00:00

Piotr Jajszczyk is a master jeweller who works for a 125-year-old Harrogate firm that has made jewellery for kings and presidents.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:56

Millennium Care believe in independence and ‘Why not’ when it comes to what helping their residents fulfil dreams.

Read more
Yesterday, 00:00

Actor and broadcaster Sushil Chudasama explains why a Blackburn park is so special to him

Read more
Wed, 15:32

Graphic artist Chris Gibson is bringing Hampshire’s landmarks in to people’s homes with his nostalgic posters

Read more
Wed, 13:28

Hannah Salisbury from the Essex Record Office tells the story of an exciting project that is taking memories on tour around the county

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search