Michael Gove's recent announcement about recruiting former armed forces personnel into teaching reminded me of Hugh's foray into the world of education before he went into the army. He had wanted to join the army for as long as I could remember but, having an August birthday meant that he had six months to wait between leaving school and signing up. Although academically more than capable of doing 'A' levels, he refused to go into the sixth form so, insisting that he should do something useful for those six months, I persuaded him to come into the school where I was working to help out on a voluntary basis.
In fact, it turned out to be a very successful move and one which, I think, he enjoyed more than he expected. The junior school pupils loved him, particularly the Year 6 boys, who probably looked on him as a bit of a role model. He tolerated no nonsense from them but was patient when necessary and was able to make good use of his artistic talents and proved able to coax even the least confident children to give of their best. Three years later, when my seven year olds had graduated to Year Six, they still asked about him.
All this sounds like a glowing reference and, obviously, it is biased as it is written by his mother, but I'm sure that he could have become a fantastic teacher, had he chosen to and he could certainly have been a suitable candidate for Michael Gove's initiative.