Staff clamour to become pin-ups

13th June 2003 at 01:00
Grin and don't bare it. This is Andy Howland (left), head of maths at Sir William Borlase's grammar school in Buckinghamshire, or "Mr January" as he will appear in a pin-up calendar produced by sixth-formers.

"Mr Howland is a bit of a character," said head girl Charlotte Longstaff, who persuaded him to take part. So, too, are quite a few staff at the school. So many teachers wanted to join in the venture to raise funds for a link school in South Africa that it became a 16-month calendar, starting this September.

Inspired by the saucy charity calendar made by Women's Institute members in the Yorkshire village of Rylstone - now immortalised in upcoming film Calendar Girls with Julie Walters and Helen Mirren - it is the product of the school's Young Enterprise scheme.

The staff were snapped by a parent and professional photographer with their modesty preserved by the tools of their subject - the pupils set up lighting and props and thenwithdrew.

Mr November - art teacher Chris Biddle - posed behind easel and paintbrushes, Miss February - music teacher Melanie Macfarlane - behind a cello. Mr March, biology teacher John Stebbings, opted for a cactus.

Mr Howland, worried, perhaps, by the skimpiness of mathematical instruments, chose to shelter behind his cycling helmet.

He is busy practising for an Edinburgh to Marlow charity cycle ride in aid of epilepsy research after a pupil at the school died of a seizure. Aged 54, he would like it known that his cycling practice has made him rather trimmer than he appears in the picture, which was taken last November.

Did he have doubts about featuring in the calendar? "The students persuaded me," he said. "They lied and said that my wife (a French teacher at the school) was taking part. And I didn't want to be upstaged by the others who were doing it."

His wife Barbara had not yet seen the picture. "I think she'll be amused," he said.

Friday magazine, 8

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