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Personally speaking - 'I would have liked farming or a life at sea'

Who has been your biggest influence?

Des Smith (the former head of All Saints, who was arrested in the cash-for-peerages scandal in 2006; no charges were brought) and Anna Cooke, a headteacher I worked with in Tower Hamlets, east London. They were both pastoral people. That is how schools should be run. Not as exam factories.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Des (Smith) once said to me: "Always do something positive at the end of the day. Take something positive home with you."

What has been your career high so far?

My first prize-giving evening as headteacher. It was very humbling to recognise the effort and hard work of our pupils.

What has been your worst moment in teaching?

When you lose someone from within your school community, it's a reality check. Our school lost someone earlier this year and the children showed real spirituality.

What would you be if you hadn't become a teacher?

I would like to have become a farmer. I like the idea of quiet solitude. Or joined the Merchant Navy.

What do you do on a Friday evening?

Friday night is chill-out night. I get to the pub for about 9.30pm, have a couple of beers and go home and fall asleep.

What car do you drive?

A Mini Cooper. I've just bought a new one, but it's back in the garage at the moment being fixed.

What is the last book you read?

Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code - it was probably when I was on holiday last year. I have so much to read for work that I don't often get the opportunity to read a book.

Are you tech-savvy or a Luddite?

Neither. I can do what I need to do.

What is the worst excuse you have ever heard?

I'm a PE teacher so I've heard it all, but nothing you could print.

Kevin Wilson is headteacher of All Saints Catholic School and Technology College in Dagenham, Essex, one of the schools involved in a project called In Subject Variation, aimed at reducing differences in performance in different subjects.

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