In the News - James Wilson

4th March 2011 at 00:00

James Wilson, 27, is a secondary-school maths teacher in Calderdale, West Yorkshire. He is a member of rock band the Shirt Boys, and has just recorded The Inspector, a heavy-metal song about an Ofsted inspection. The song is online at: http:soundcloud.comshirt-boysthe-inspector

A song about Ofsted? Is it the new heartache?

"The school I'm working at has just been through an Ofsted inspection. As you can imagine, we didn't like it very much. There is a lot of pressure on schools to achieve a particular rating, and I'm not sure it's very healthy."

So you decided to express your pain through the medium of heavy metal?

"We wanted something that gave it a pompous feel, and heavy metal - particularly Iron Maiden-type 1980s metal - is quite pompous-sounding. It was a tense time, so getting to shout out the tension was a good release."

What were you aiming for with: 'I'm an inspector, I'm very lonelyNo one wants to know me'?

"No one ever really likes auditors, do they? I guess they have a job to do. But when they come into the staffroom and introduce themselves, no one wants to speak to them. Maybe if people were being observed in a way they were happy with, there wouldn't be so much stigma attached to the job."

Your band is the Shirt Boys. I'm thinking a nicely ironed MS number. Rock on

"We have to wear shirts now, because that's our name. I have a leather jacket, but it's brown and it doesn't have spikes on or anything. I do have a beard, if that's any help. Maths teachers are often quite geeky, and so are heavy-metal fans. If you think back to Iron Maiden, there were a lot of The Lord of the Rings and Dungeons amp; Dragons fans."

Do you have them rocking in the assembly aisles?

"My head wasn't too pleased. As headteacher, you've got to be supportive of Ofsted. I don't think he's a fan of heavy metal either."

What next? Thrash-metal theorem?

"This is the only school-based song we have done so far, and we are not planning any more. Though if there's a niche in the market ... ".

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