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In The Spotlight > In The Spotlight > In The Spotlight: Neale Else

In The Spotlight: Neale Else

Neale Else, Assistant Head for Years 9-11
Neale Else, Assistant Head for Years 9-11

What did you do before you worked at BMS? 

I started my teaching career at Wooton Upper School in 1991 where I spent two years. I had several jobs as a student though. I worked as a grass cutter for the council, working as part of a gang who kept public spaces tidy. I also worked in factories making nappies and also sandwiches - not at the same time! 

What does a day at work look like for you? 

There is no such thing as a typical day these days. Teaching occupies a small proportion of my time -  for instance, there is one day each fortnight where I don't have any lessons. The role of Assistant Head is relatively new and is still evolving, but it brings with it great variety. It is safe to say that I have learned to expect the unexpected. I can't really give any further details as much of what I do is confidential, but it is rewarding and I have a great team to help me.

What is something surprising that the OBM and BMS community may not know about you? 

Some of the older OBMs will probably not know that I am a runner. Indeed, they might find it quite surprising that I spend a lot of time training for marathons. Some will not know that I almost didn't come into teaching as I had ambitions to become a professional snooker player. I took up the game at the age of 10 and represented my county at the age of 14. During the 1980s you had to prove you were good enough to play at the professional level and be accepted by the game's governing body; you couldn't simply declare yourself a professional. I didn't quite make it in the necessary qualification tournaments, narrowly missing out when I was 18.

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

Without a doubt, the people at BMS, both staff and students. Working with young people should keep us feeling young, which I do. On the inside I feel like a 20-year old. However, the mirror tells a different story!

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

My children are all in their twenties and have their own lives, so my wife and I have more spare time. I devote a lot of time to running, as training for a marathon involves some very long runs. I also enjoy photography, which has always been a hobby and something my father got me into when I was younger. I also like live music and in less restricted times I enjoy going to gigs in the same way as I like to watch live sport.

What advice would you give to your younger self about to take on this career? 

It's tricky because the job has changed so much in the time I have been a teacher. I can see it becoming more reliant on technology. Our own experience of COVID and remote learning has pushed forward our own skill development. Teaching is a vocation and I have known a number of OBMs who have come into it as a second career. If I could advise myself, I would probably have taken some time out to travel and then maybe worked in another sphere of life for a while first. I think that the days where someone has one career are over.

Are there any other thoughts you would like to share with the OBM and BMS community?

The first time I knew BMS existed was when I came to Bedford during my induction week at Wootton. I was staying in town and saw the playing fields and the site and was somewhat impressed. Having had no experience of the independent sector, I never imagined I would have ended up in such a great place. BMS is a fantastic school and we benefit enormously from the OBM network. If you are an OBM and are ever in town, please come and see us; you will receive a warm welcome. OBMs offer us so much through their diverse knowledge and experience, we really appreciate their input in helping the current BMS students.

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