Personally speaking - My motto: 'Always make it interesting'

19th August 2011 at 01:00

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

"Always make it interesting."

Who has been your biggest influence?

In my present job it has been my chair of governors and ex-head of the British record industry, John Deacon. He is a fine example of integrity, wisdom and good humour.

What was your worst moment in teaching?

Just in general some of the darker times that you have to deal with as a head, mopping up the consequences of the dangerous and negative behaviour of young people.

Which pupil are you most proud of?

I recently travelled back to my previous school and met a young Somali man, who had joined the school when I was new to the headship. Back then he was probably the worst-behaved Year 7 boy I have met in my life; now he is a highly successful professional with an excellent degree behind him. He is a model to me of how young people can transform their lives.

What is your career high so far?

It would be the headship of the two schools that I have led: the Thomas Tallis School in Greenwich and the BRIT School here in Croydon.

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

A doctor - it is an absolutely fascinating job, but it takes something that I know I haven't got.

What do you do on a Friday evening?

I try to forget about work as soon as possible and enjoy the company of my family.

What car do you drive?

A Vauxhall Astra - cheap and cheerful.

Where did you last go on holiday - and why?

The most interesting holiday I've had recently was in Berlin. I visited the city with my partner and youngest son. As a living testament to 20th-century history it is awesome.

What is the worst excuse you have ever heard?

It would have to be my best friend's excuse that his bus broke down on his way to school, when he lived in the next street. Needless to say he was immediately punished by the headmaster in a slightly less sympathetic manner from the way in which I am used to operating.

Nick Williams is the principal of the BRIT School in Croydon, Britain's only free performing arts and technology school. His former students include Adele and the late Amy Winehouse, among others.

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