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Oars well in private recruitment

Some schools don't miss a stroke.

And when you are a private school, set in a 46-acre wooded estate fronting the River Thames, you can advertise for a rowing teacher who has, as a bonus, the ability to take maths and science lessons.

Reading Blue Coat, the pound;6,450-a-year day-school (boarders pay pound;11,760), is confident it will find a taker for its vacancy. Peter Firebrace, second deputy, says that, unlike the state sector, the school has no problems recruiting science or maths staff.

"It's just that we want someone to look at the organisation and management of the rowing too. We have three regular coaches but we need soeone in school to oversee it. We want someone who loves rowing but also loves science," he said.

It's worth noting that the Blue Coat has already produced rowers who have shot to fame.

Lucy Mills, currently in the sixth form, competed in the England juniors' quad team in last year's home counties event in Ghent. Old boys David Bushnell and Dominic Day helped make up the crew in the rowing film Oxford Blues.

None of them however, has quite matched the achievements of another local rower who attended a comprehensive school in Marlow, a few miles down the road - five-time Olympic gold medallist Steve Redgrave.

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