Diary - In teachers we trust

8th January 2010 at 00:00

How do you get the great, the good and the notoriously bad to trust you? You pretend to be a retired teacher, according to one successful spoofer.

Geoff Atkinson, a comedy producer and writer, went under the name of Colin Nugent, a 62-year-old retired teacher from Pinner, Middlesex, to gain the trust of public figures.

He contacted bankers, politicians and captains of industry, including former RBS chief executive Sir Fred Goodwin. He sent the disgraced banker sympathetic letters, flowers and a model of his favourite car. Sir Fred thanked him with letters and flowers in response.

It seems to prove that society trusts teachers more than most professions. A 2009 survey by Mori found that teachers are second only to doctors in terms of public trust.

Mr Atkinson has published the responses in a book, Colin Nugent Saves Britain.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today