At the end of June we will say our farewells to Clive Semmens, Senior Project Officer (Information Technology) in our erstwhile TVEI Joint Support Activity Project team. He is the last to jump ship. He also has the distinction of not only serving out his full contract term but of having survived us core staff loonies for an extra month or two. This only shows that he is almost as daft as we are.
Clive is leaving us for the real world and starts a new post in a school next session. The sad part is that he is going to a school in London. That we see as an important loss to the Scottish system of a very considerable talent – of a polymath even.
It is a major independent school which he is to join. Perhaps we here in Scotland have something to learn from it and others like it. Clive joins the school as Director of Information Technology. His responsibility is not for any specific subject silliness such as Computing Studies, but for managing IT applications right across the curriculum and throughout the school. If he does that for them only half as well as he has done it for us over the last two years or so – whatever they’re paying him – they got a “triffic” bargain. Unfortunately their gain is our and Scottish science and technology education’s loss.
Sadly, politics at Highgate School weren’t good. What I was promised in the job ad and at interview, which I reported to John and on which he based the above, did not materialize. Only two heads of department (not including Maths...) co-operated with me. I ended up with a full timetable teaching “Computer Studies” and Maths, in addition to the work I did with the two co-operative departments – and a little worthwhile off-syllabus computer work with a few enthusiastic pupils. For the sake of my pupils (and my own CV...) I stayed for a whole year before seeking pastures new, but it was one of the worst years of my life – a massive come-down after SSERC, where I had had a wonderful time and felt really useful.