0.00.00 My name is Mick G. I’m the Principal of George Salter Collegiate Academy which is one of two academies which are collegiately linked under the executive principal Sir Mark Grundy. While my whole career has been based around getting young people to aspire to do the very best they can with their lives and the delight of watching young people
0.00.30 who previously didn’t have the opportunities to achieve, achieve is just something you can’t put a price on. I wouldn’t switch my job for any billionaire’s job. Born of working class parents who had no real privilege of education, but was very well supported mostly, went to secondary school and did well. Ended up at Newcastle University.
0.01.00 Studied English. I was the only kid in our street to go to university and I’m ferociously proud of those roots and certainly wanted to work with youngsters of working class background and possibly try and change their lives the way my dad and mum had changed mine. Dad works in a factory. Mum worked as a filing clerk at the universal in Stafford. You ask people don’t you over dinner who your heroes are. Mine are Robin Hood my mum and my dad.
0.01.30 They had no chance themselves but they knew what aspiration meant and they filled me full of aspiration. So even though they didn’t know education themselves, they certainly knew the value of it. University, it enabled me and I think everybody else that’s been there since time immemorial to grow up in a fairly cosseted area, quite a safe environment. Yeah, it was a wonderful experience.
0.02.00 You also get taught how to develop from a boy into a man and learn life skills like cooking. I remember to be quite a harrowing experience. I certainly fell in love with takeaways fairly early in life. I enjoyed my rugby, my cricket and my squash. Always wanted to be a professional sportsman so I insisted on going to Loughborough to do my post-grad in physical education.
0.02.30 Once I’d finished university I knew, because I couldn’t achieve my one ambition which was to be a professional sportsman, I got close to it but not quite. I chose teaching. Taught for four years at Chasetown and then did 24 years with an all comprehensive school. I mean father died and that was over a two year period of cancer. I think I learnt a lot during that time.
0.03.00 Not only about life but about myself and probably was ended up thanks to my father being a better person for it. I got divorced which I equally found quite difficult time in my life. But you can’t always have everything you want can you? So you know you just put your head down and go for it. Since I’ve had this job I’ve, I mean I work, we do Saturday school and I work a six day week.
0.03.30 And so really my only hobby is a bit of family life. My girls are now grown up and I put all of the competitive energies that used to go into sport into making sure that the kids get a good deal out of the school. In five years time I hope that I am fit and well and able to carry on doing this job. I enjoy every moment of every day and there’s not many people can say that and get paid for it.