Envy at four-star break

6th February 2004 at 00:00
The winner of a TES competition is to get a change from spartan surroundings. Adi Bloom reports

When Christopher Brown travels abroad, he usually stays in a spartan fisherman's cottage in a remote corner of Corfu.

As a teacher, the 55-year-old head of Lawn junior school, in Swindon, Wiltshire, is not accustomed to luxury. But, this year, he will be reclining in four-star comfort, at a coastal resort in Spain.

Mr Brown is the winner of a competition, offered by The TES, to win a one-week holiday on the Costa de la Luz, in southern Spain.

After filling in a form in the Christmas edition of the newspaper, his entry was selected at random from a total of more than 750. Now, he is hoping to take his wife, Eileen, and 11-year-old son, Josh, on holiday over May half-term.

"I never usually go away during half-term, so this will be a complete break," said Mr Brown.

"Life as a teacher is so hectic that school is usually on your mind even when you're on holiday.

"But this time I'm going to try not to think about school at all. I've been a head for 15 years, so I think I deserve a break. More than one, actually.

But this will do for now."

His aim is to recline in the luxury to which teachers are unaccustomed. And he does not anticipate that a lack of local knowledge will adversely affect his attempts at relaxation.

"I don't speak any languages at all," he said. "But my wife is a linguist.

So I can rest, and she will do all the talking. So that's not too unusual."

Meanwhile, staffroom envy at Lawn juniors is already seething, and a number of teachers have asked whether they can accompany him.

Jan Hobbs, Mr Brown's deputy, said: "If I was being professional, I'd say it couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

"Christopher works very hard, and teachers don't get enough opportunities like this. But, if I'm being realistic, I'm deadlyjealous."

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