Ask the Head: Alun Jones
A former choral scholar, freelance singer and ad-hoc member of the BBC Singers, Alun Jones is Principal at St Gabriel’s, Newbury. Alongside Headship, Alun is an Inspector for the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI) and is a Director of the ISI...
A former choral scholar, freelance singer and ad-hoc member of the BBC Singers, Alun Jones is Principal at St Gabriel’s, Newbury. Alongside Headship, Alun is an Inspector for the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI) and is a Director of the ISI Board. Alun is the first male President of the Girls’ Schools Association representing the heads of almost all the top performing independent girls’ schools in the country.
What was your favourite subject at school?
Music! I was so lucky to have inspirational class music, instrumental and singing teachers at school and later at music college.
What matters most at your school?
That teaching and learning flourishes within our happy environment that values mutual trust and respect . Relationships are everything at St Gabriel’s.
What are the biggest challenges of being in education?
Unlike my colleagues in the state sector we are thankfully relatively free from government meddling. For the sake of all children, it is now time for government to take a step back, whilst of course keeping open channels of communication, to allow the recent changes in education to bed in.
What is your fondest memory of being in education?
A level results days! There is no feeling like seeing the school community as one celebrating the girls’ successes and sending them on their way to their next stage of education as confident, well balanced young adults. It’s why we do the job!
What is the one current issue in education that affects you the most?
I would love government support for children from low income families to come to our schools. Politicians talk about giving children a chance – that would be it.
Why did you first get into education?
I loved the opportunities to grow the extra-curricular musical life of a school. I was determined that music shouldn’t just be about the preserve of the musically gifted. Past students, now well into their adult lives and working in a variety of careers, still refer fondly to our recordings, concerts and tours.
What’s your favourite song?
Kerry Ellis – ‘You have to be there’. The words and music are just stunning.
Describe your perfect day.
Every day is a perfect day as working amongst my colleagues, parents and pupils is such a privilege. My day might also include a conversation with Derek Peaple, Head at Park House School as we look to collaborate further. We are not afraid to think out of the box if it benefits all children. My perfect day includes meeting new parents and children and introducing all that St Gabriel’s has to offer. Watching the girls taking new parents on tours of the school with such pride and enthusiasm is very special.