Kensington and Chelsea College
00:00:04 Hi, I’m Mike J, I’m Principal here at Kensington and Chelsea College, that’s KCC. I’ve been a Principal for eleven years now. I certainly never intended to be one. What took me into the whole area was a desire to teach. And I didn’t make that happen until I was 28. But I can honestly say when I came into further education, it was the furthest thing from my mind that I’d ever wind up as a Principal.
00:00:29 I was the first in my family to go to University, so it was quite a – quite a leap. When I left I did in those days the obligatory, I think it says on the CV, two years various manual work. That involved things like working for Yamaha Motorbikes, loading fertiliser for ICI, driving vans, you know, lot of us did that. Then after that I worked in local government, then I shifted into industrial arbitration, and then I moved into the overseas division of the Department of Employment. It was supposed to be a great career, and I got totally disheartened and bored with it, and decided to make the big jump into education and teaching.
00:01:09 Particular turning point was when I had to carry out an analysis of a report by – very good report by a Third World economist essentially, and rip it to shreds, to brief a Government Minister, so that they could explain why we weren’t going to pay for it. And I think it was – I just got fed up with doing things that I didn’t believe in. And I figured if I got out there – committed myself in some ways to teaching – I could at least, hopefully, inspire or change, or get people to think a little bit in their lives.
00:01:46 And at 28, left my first mortgage, my first wife actually, as it happens, and just went and trained full-time to be a Further Education teacher. You know, during the period I’ve been teaching, there’ve been some great moments. And perhaps the greatest moment is – for any teaching – is when an ex-student comes up to you and says – or a student says, you know, you were great. And you think, it’s not me, it’s you. You’ve put the work in, you’ve achieved it. But any teacher who tells you they don’t get a buzz from that is a liar.
00:02:17 Yes when my father died, you know, as I say I was 24, it was a turning point for me. I was half way through an MA Thesis on effectively Lawrence of Arabia, and suddenly there I was with, you know, seventy pound overdraft, my father had gone, responsibility for me mother, pile of debts, and I think that probably meant that was straight into work. That was like growing up overnight, you know, I’d had some choices up till then. But that was kind of get stuck in, provide. And what interests me is that that almost archetypal reaction, just took me into any job my qualifications could get me.
00:02:55 Aaah! Now that’s difficult, you know, what motivates me? Well, I think it’s probably still the discovery of what’s new. Still learning. Still changing. And helping institutions and people to change, as well. And helping people to make those moves, the shifts, for the good of their students, for the good of their learners, without huge strains in their lives. I guess that’s what I’d do.
00:03:22 What do I see in my future? Well not what everyone else sees, you know, ’cause I don’t do retirement. I’m not the least bit interested in retirement, and so far I’ve been very fortunate with my health, which I think is the great determinant. So I want to do more of what I do now. Immediately, I want to be involved in, I hope landing the next OLASS contract for the College, that’s the Prison Service contract. And that involves delivering training and education in prisons. We started with four, and we’ve just added another two. And then I wanna be involved in shaping that curriculum, within prisons, and within the College. So I’ve got plenty to do in my present job. I don’t see another job beckoning. I’m really motivated by doing a bit more of what I do now. With a very good team of people round me, which is what I’ve got.
Mike J has been Principal of Kensington and Chelsea College for eleven years. The first in his family to go to university, Mike had many different jobs before finally settling in the education sector. He enjoys working at KCC very much and says, “I don’t do retirement… I don’t see another job beckoning. I’m really motivated by doing a bit more of what I do now. With a very good team of people round me, which is what I’ve got”.
More information about Further education teaching professionals
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Prepares, delivers and directs lectures, seminars and tutorials;
- Prepares, administers and marks examinations, essays and other assignments;
- Arranges instructional visits and periods of employment experience for students;
- Assists with the administration of teaching and the arranging of timetables;
- Liaises with other professional and commercial organisations to review course content.
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