0.00.00 My name is Narinder S. I’m Assistant Principal at George Salter Collegiate Academy, so I oversee all the examination results. I oversee all the actual analysis of the examination results and I also oversee all the reporting to parents and other external agencies. For many students it’s an uphill journey, they’re coming with, some students very, very low levels of literacy.
0.00.30 They can’t even read and write English but they’re leaving here within five years with a handful of GCSE’s. I think that’s wonderful to see. I suppose being from an Asian background as a youngster, parents, there are usually three choices. One is medicine, one is an engineer and the third one is usually law. So as long as I did one of the three I’d keep my family happy. But I failed in all three.
0.01.00 My father worked in a foundry to start with. My mother worked in a factory and then my father became a market trader, worked on markets and I worked for him from the year, age of about eight, travelling up and down the country, which was a fantastic education in itself. And I did say to my father in no uncertain terms that I’d like to finish my studies and join the family business. And my father told me quite directly and very bluntly
0.01.30 that if that was the case then he would not be pleased with that. The only reason he came to this country so that we could get a good education and he’d be then quite happy to sell up and go back to India. So I went to university in 1979. I went to Wolverhampton Polytechnic where I studied computer science. Computer science was just taking off and I hated it. It was not me. I couldn’t get my head round it.
0.02.00 So I had to rethink my options and I spoke to my tutor and he said had I ever considered teaching. He advised me to go and speak to the Education Department and I did and I enrolled on the Bachelor of Education degree and I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it. I was very fortunate that on my first interview I got myself a job teaching mathematics in Wolverhampton. I’d been there I think six years and I’d worked hard
0.02.30 and I was progressing so I’d applied for promotion and it wasn’t even looked at. It was overlooked. It was a real knock back and I had to really decide what I was going to do. Was I going to sort of grin and bear it there or was I going to move? I was very fortunate that I came to a fantastic environment and it really did encourage me, it got me motivated again and I was back on track then to achieving my goal. And that’s the dinner bell.
0.03.00 I mean my parents have always had a major role to play, because I’ve watched them work 24 / 7 to provide for myself and my young sisters. So that’s always sort of, you know, pushed me on to say no, if not for me I’ll do it for them. I’m a dj. So weekends I travel up and down the country entertaining people at various functions.
0.03.30 I’ve got other interests outside of school. As much as I love what I do, Assistant Head Teacher, that’s was my ambition and I’ve got there. I try and keep a work / life balance because again I’ve got family who I want to spend time with and I know obviously if you go towards head ship then that becomes a bit more difficult. I suppose having this, you know, home / work life balance, this interest outside of school, it does keep me sane. And it allows me to do the things that I wouldn’t do normally.