Headmaster at Barrow Hills School in Witley, Matthew Unsworth - Meet the Head

Matthew Unsworth

Matthew Unsworth - Credit: NA

The headmaster of Barrow Hills School in Witley, Matthew Unsworth says he couldn’t imagine a more rewarding career than teaching...

If you hadn’t become a teacher, what do you think you would have done instead?

Working with young minds, helping children discover and hone their talents, is immensely rewarding. Why would I want to do anything else?

What were your favourite lessons when you were at school?

The ones where the teachers went far away from the syllabus and we journeyed to undiscovered lands.

Was there any type of school dinner that you couldn’t stand?

I remember clearly as a young child having a plate in front of me and not being allowed to leave it, so I was stuck there. The headmistress came along and let me take it up to be cleared. It was an act of kindness, grace even, that I have never forgotten.

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How do you like to relax away from school?

I have three children so I don’t know if ‘relax’ is the right word but it has to be being dad. When we had our third child, the dynamics changed and we became more of a tribe. I love that.

Which is your favourite film of all time?

I am married to an Australian and there is a cult Aussie film called The Castle, which is funny and yet has its poignant moments. When the retired judge sums up for the family (you need to see the film), it always brings a tear to my eye.

And what about your Desert Island Discs…?

A couple of years ago, Max Ritcher ‘recomposed’ Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons for Deutsche Grammophon with Daniel Hope playing the violin. I love this and find it profoundly beautiful. I have always enjoyed film scores and there is a mix of Ennio Morricone here as well as Vivaldi. Also a French conductor, Herve Niquet, does some amazing work with his group, Le Concert Spirtiuel, and their recording of Handel’s Fireworks and Watermusic is superb.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?

I would allow parents to have the value of their child’s education as a voucher to take up at any school they chose, state or independent.


Need to know: Barrow Hills School, Roke Lane, Witley GU8 5NY. A co-educational prep school for children aged from three to 13. Tel: 01428 683639 / barrowhills.org.uk

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