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Surrey schools- Jon Cox, headmaster of Royal Grammar School in Guildford

PUBLISHED: 13:42 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:15 20 February 2013

Jon Cox of Royal Grammar School in Guildford

Jon Cox of Royal Grammar School in Guildford

The historic Royal Grammar School in Guildford is celebrating its 500th birthday this year. Here, we speak to the school's headmaster, Jon Cox, to find out his views about everything from music and politics to parsnips

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2009

The historic Royal Grammar School in Guildford is celebrating its 500th birthday this year. Here, we speak to the school's headmaster, Jon Cox, to find out his views about everything from music and politics to parsnips




The Royal Grammar School, High Street, Guildford GU1 3BB, is an independent school for boys. For more information, call 01483 880600





If you hadn't become a teacher, what would you have done instead?
In view of the fact that I spent a very enjoyable postgraduate year at the Royal College of Music studying the French horn, I would probably have gone into the music profession.

Was there any type of school dinner that you couldn't stand?
Anything with parsnips - I hated them as a child and the same is true now.

What were your favourite lessons?
Biology and music - because I was taught by inspirational teachers in both disciplines. They say that your teachers have the ability to form your future direction in life and that was certainly true for me. My music teacher inculcated a lifelong love of music into me and my biology teacher is the reason why I now teach the subject at the RGS.

So, your Desert Island Disc...?
I have so many classical CDs but if I had to choose one it would be a recording by Murray Perahia of two Mozart Piano Concertos, numbers 19 and 23, with the English Chamber Orchestra. In my opinion, this is music at its most sublime.

What would be your favourite film of all time?
It would have to be Cinema Paradiso - I have incurable nostalgia.

If you were to have a meal held in your honour and there was one space still available, who would you like to fill it?
My wife - a very dull answer, I know, but absolutely true.

How do you like to relax away from your work?
I enjoy being with my family. As a headmaster, you are often absent in the evenings and so the times when I can be with my three children are very precious to me. Also, I still enjoy performing music, which I try to do as regularly as I can with an orchestra in Salisbury.

If you were prime minister for one day, what's the first thing you'd do?
Take education out of the hands of government. Education is much too important to leave it to an elected body which is, by its very nature, transient and always looking for the attractive option that will win them the next election.

There are some very important choices ahead for this country regarding education policy and such choices should be in the hands of an independent body that can make decisions for the long-term instead of courting popularity for the next election.




The Royal Grammar School, High Street, Guildford GU1 3BB, is an independent school for boys. For more information, call 01483 880600

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