I was one of the lucky ones: I got out before it was too late. I had never really dared to believe that a place like Sands could actually exist. Too much Orwell and Huxley had fed my cynicism and convinced me that, in fact, it could never work. Yet here I am, treating students as individuals, allowing them to make their own choices and mistakes (sometimes even encouraging it!) and hopefully helping them to see that that is how lessons are learnt and that is how we grow as human beings.
So how did I get here? Well, to cut a long (and terminally dull) story short, I studied English and French at Roehampton in London; fell into (and out with) a succession of mind-numbing, creativity-sapping office based jobs; traveled the world in a vague attempt to ‘find myself’; failed at becoming a rock star; studied for my P.G.C.E. in Swansea; worked for a year in a state-funded battery farm on the Isle of Wight, where all my ideals about the liberating nature of education and freedom of expression were slowly, systematically ridiculed into submission; narrowly avoided a nervous breakdown; saw a tiny advert in the TES and the rest, as they say, is history. Or is it only the beginning… ?