The interview game...

This segment of the academic year, between the end of the Easter Term and the 'summer' half term break tends to be interview central. There is the staffing mosaic to complete as the resignation date for teachers floats into view at the end of May, and there is also the small matter of appointing the next batch of senior prefects who will do so much to make the school experience brilliant for everyone over the next 12 months. As the interview season approaches I inevitably feel some trepidation; even given the facts that Bishop's has a draw for teachers due to reputation, amazing students and an enviable working environment recruitment of staff is never easy. The fact that almost all of the teachers here have to be able to deliver their subject across the full age range to A level and beyond can make appointment problematic, and some vacancies are tough to fill. This year there have been quite a few teachers to find, not because many people are leaving but because the school is expanding rapidly; it's a nice problem to have and I will never complain about popularity, but a problem it remains.

As things stand we are now fully staffed for September, thank goodness! The teachers joining BWS at the start of the new academic year are as follows: Elizabeth Beer (Biology), Matthew Brundle (Languages), Emilie Greenwood (Business & Geography), Emma Imeson (Psychology), Kieran Riddle and Gail Walster (both English), Holly Sharman (Science), Henry Joyce (History & Politics) and Bo Han (Mandarin). In addition there have been a number of internal appointments - Mark Roca and Nikki Mesnard will both start work as Assistant Heads of Sixth, Andy Green takes up the reins as Head of MFL with Leanne Bould as his deputy, and we will have 2 i/c posts in Maths (Amanda Gough) and English (Sally White). And it's not just pedagogical recruitment either, as we have appointed Melanie Press (Reception), Julia Marshall (Attendance Officer), Katie Bazire-Smith (Pastoral Support) and Caroline Popham (Development Officer). I wish them all, as the Gaelic Blessing would have it, the sun on their face and the wind at their back as they start at Bishop's.

The interviews for the most senior of the senior prefect posts took place at the end of last week. Riding on the outcomes are the appointments of Head Boy and, for the first time in 94 years, Head Girl. Doing the interviews is one of the highlights of every year for me as it gives me the chance to talk to lots of young people who are demonstrating, daily, just how impressive young man and women can be even before they have reached the stage of leaving home for university. Given the fact that they have to face an interview panel of senior staff and their peers, give a presentation and undergo a quite daunting interrogation they invariably emerge with flying colours. I really look forward to seeing what the new coeducational team are able to do to leave their mark on their school - and it is a massive privilege to be involved, in a small way, in the process of appointment.