As Will Goldsmith settles into the role of headteacher at the renowned Bedales School, he takes time out to give his first media interview to Dr Helen Wright, discussing what drew him to the school and his plans for the future.
“I was ever so slightly bored with telling teenagers off for having shirts untucked or ties that needed doing up or skirts that were too short, heaven forbid,” he says.
“I really wanted to come to a place where interactions walking around the school could be much more positive and about students and their learning.”
He tells Dr Wright he is excited about building on Bedales Assessed Courses, which run alongside GCSEs, and plans to make them the dominant qualification at the school at 16.
He says: “Teachers are perfectly capable of crafting an excellent high quality curriculum without the need for an exam board or the department for education to micromanage what that looks like.”
Goldsmith makes a number of predictions for the future, foreseeing a shift towards when-ready online exams, Bacc-style assessment, curriculum flexibility and more gender mixing in boarding schools.
He also touches on his status as one of only a few openly gay boarding school headmasters, how welcome he has felt at Bedales but how the education world is still affected by “the shadow of Section 28”.