Why I love teaching in...the West Midlands

Craig Bonny-Meekings, director of learning for English and languages at The George Eliot School in Nuneaton, tells Tes what makes the West Midlands great and why other teachers should think about making it their home

Tes Editorial

A Canal In The West Midlands

I live in Burton-on-Trent, right in the heart of the Midlands, with Birmingham, Nottingham and Derby all close by.

I grew up in this area but worked away as an entertainment manager for Thompson for several years before I came to teaching at 28, undertaking my teacher training at the University of Warwick.

I did my NQT placement at Cockshut Hill School in Yardley, Birmingham and then moved to Kingsbury School in Tamworth where I was key stage 3 lead for English. I stayed there for two years before moving to where I am now – the George Eliot School in Nuneaton where I am director of learning for English and languages.

Options and opportunities

There are so many options for teachers in the region, from big cities to smaller towns and villages. And you’re never really tied to one town or area because there are so many schools within easy reach.

This proximity to the countryside also really appeals to me. We have two dogs and two children so we walk a lot and it’s just great having all that on your doorstep.

Burton itself is also famous as a brewing town so there are lots of really nice pubs that serve great beer, which is a bonus.

So much on your doorstep

We’re just 25 minutes from Alton Towers here and there are loads of cinemas, theatres, cafes and nightclubs so there’s no end of things to do. The central location means there are excellent connections across the country, too: you’ve got Manchester and London within a couple of hours and Birmingham and other major Midlands cities about 40 minutes away.

We holiday a lot in England in places like the Lake District or Cornwall and you only really have to drive about five or 10 minutes before you reach a major road and you’re just off and away.

There’s also a real housing boom around the area, with lots of new homes being built, which means that prices are reasonable. If we lived in the south, we would never get something as big as our place here. And life is generally very affordable. We love it here.

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