Meet the head of Framlingham College
PUBLISHED: 12:12 16 November 2015 | UPDATED: 12:12 16 November 2015
As headmaster of Framlingham College, former cricketer Paul Taylor is committed to hitting the ‘league table culture’ for six, writes Nicky Adams
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what career would you have chosen instead?
Having had a couple of careers – in professional cricket (neither famously nor successfully!) and advertising — prior to becoming a teacher, I suspect that I am running out of options! Whatever I do would have to be primarily about people, so I guess I am finding it hard to think of anything better than teaching.
Who would you most like to have as a pupil, if you could pick anyone?
I pick anyone.
Was there any type of school dinner that you couldn’t stand?
I hated swede. I still remember my confident first mouthful at school, assuming it was mashed potato. Swede has never stood a chance since.
What was your least favourite lesson?
Any lesson after games on a dark winter’s night or any lesson where the teacher made no effort to engage with the eager minds sitting in front of them.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would be the first thing you’d do?
Listen… and particularly on education where I would like to see the mental and emotional well-being of pupils more at the forefront of government thinking. The world that teenagers inhabit these days brings all sorts of pressures that, frankly, older generations simply don’t ‘get’. This is compounded by the single-minded ‘results are everything’ approach to education (an unwinnable game by the way) and I just feel that teenagers are paying too high a price for this relentless focus on examination results.
What is your favourite film of all time and why?
I’m going to cheat here and, in honour of my own background in advertising, say the Volkswagen ‘Snowplow’ advertisement from the 1960s. It was brilliant in its simplicity and clarity, and it is possibly the best commercial ever made. If it has to be a film, then Jeunet’s wonderful Amélie has to rank pretty highly.
Which record would you want with you if you were marooned on a desert island?
Hmmm… it’s almost impossible to answer that one. Maybe Father & Son (by Cat Stevens, not Boyzone!)
What would you like to make disappear from this world?
Cynicism. It’s the biggest enemy of teenage education and creative thinking.
Is there a television programme that you make sure you never miss?
Dr Who…now there’s a guilty pleasure!
How do you relax away from work?
I read, walk and relax with family (gosh that sounds boring!).
What is special about your school?
We are interested in the whole child, not just the examination candidate. I am (quite aggressively!) opposed to the academic league table culture as this is such a narrow definition of education. I believe passionately in academic ambition and in promoting the very best teaching and learning, but no one is defined by their examination grades and I am primarily interested in producing decent, rounded and very well-educated young men and women, with a clear moral compass and a strong sense of self.