How Surrey’s head teachers would change the education system if Prime Minister for the day

PUBLISHED: 15:32 12 February 2015 | UPDATED: 16:17 12 February 2015

Shaun Fenton

Shaun Fenton


With the general election looming on the horizon, here’s what five of our county’s top head teachers would do if they had the chance to sit in at No 10

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2015


Rowena Cole

Dunottar School, Reigate


If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?

“I’d separate the education system from government so that it wasn’t at the whim of different political agendas. The frequency of change that teachers have to respond to takes some of their energy and creativity away from the children that they are teaching and that isn’t good for the children. I would want a robust and demanding body that ensures that the needs of the diversity of children in the UK are met and they are enabled to take their place in what is an increasingly international world.”


• Dunottar School, High Trees Road, Reigate RH2 7EL. An independent co-educational day school for ages 11 to 18. Contacts: 01737 761945 /



Andrew Rudkin

Lyndhurst School, Camberley


If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?

“I would introduce an initiative into the curriculum that focussed on leadership skills and teamwork – and all Year 6 children would take part in an outdoor pursuits programme. At Lyndhurst, all our Year 6 leavers spend a week in Wales after their exams. The children learn a great deal about themselves and how to work together – a great preparation for moving on to senior school.”


• Lyndhurst School, The Avenue, Camberley GU15 3NE. Camberley’s only independent school, Lyndhurst is a co-educational school for children aged from three to 11. Contacts: 01276 22895 /



Shaun Fenton

Reigate Grammar School, Reigate


If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?

“My driving aim as a headmaster is to ensure that we open the doors of opportunity to the brightest possible futures for our young people so that they can thrive personally and so that they, in turn, can make the world a better place. As Prime Minister, my priorities for education would be no different and key to achieving them would be to remove education from the political football it currently is by bringing about a long-term, cross-party consensus on education. Our young people have one main chance at education, one main chance to get it right, and their life chances should not be used to score points in a political game.”


• Reigate Grammar School, Reigate Road, Reigate RH2 0QS. An independent co- educational school for pupils aged from 11 to 18. Contacts: 01737 222231 /



Martin Reader

Cranleigh School, Cranleigh


If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?

“Disconnect the Department of Education from the government in power and move away from the system of annual budgets for local councils to allow for better long-term planning.”


• Cranleigh School, Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh GU6 8QQ. An independent co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 13 to 18. Contacts: 01483 273666 /



Katharine Crouch

Sutton High School, Sutton


If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?

“The main purpose of school leadership is to develop and implement a vision to meet the needs of every child. If I were Prime Minister, I would focus on giving every school the time and resources to do that as the future of our country depends on the quality of the education it gives to its young people. I would want every school to generate an environment where every pupil can believe in themselves, can exceed expectations and has fun while learning.”


• Sutton High School, 55 Cheam Road, Sutton SM1 2AX. An independent school for girls aged from three to 18, run by the Girls’ Day School Trust. Contacts: 0208 642 0594 /




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