Meet Jane Crouch, headteacher at Dame Bradbury’s in Saffron Walden

EXG OCT 13 meet the head

EXG OCT 13 meet the head - Credit: Archant

If you hadn’t become a teacher, what career would you have chosen instead?

I often wonder what life as a detective in the police force might be like. I inspect schools and really enjoy searching for evidence to back up my conclusions. Working with a team to solve a crime would be fascinating – though I’m not sure I’d appreciate the grim reality behind it all.

Who would you most like to have as a pupil, if you could pick anyone?

I would have loved to have taught Eric Morecambe and helped him to feel valued as a person while enjoying his sense of humour. Ensuring that our pupils feel confident and valued is one of my main aims as a headteacher. I also believe that humour is essential in a school.

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

I really detested liver, although I’m not sure how often I actually had it.

What was your least favourite lesson?

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Physics, because it was so badly taught. I can remember being shouted at by the teacher when he used my newly-wired plug as a demonstration and it blew up. Teachers who inspire rather than reprimand are what is required for an exceptional school.

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

I would abolish SATs and league tables in their present form. I loved my time at school and really do sympathise with young pupils today who are put under so much pressure due to too many tests. Learning can be far more exciting and stimulating when free from unnecessary constraints.

Which record would you want with you if you were marooned on a desert island?

Jerusalem, because we sing it in our Year 6 Leavers’ Assembly – it’s always a moving occasion and a highlight of the Dame Bradbury’s calendar.

If you could make one thing disappear from this world, what would it be?

Bad manners. One of my greatest delights is regularly hearing members of the public complementing our pupils’ behaviour.

Is there a television programme that you make sure you never miss?

I do enjoy Springwatch. The enthusiasm of Chris Packham and his team is infectious. I strive to nurture the enthusiasms of pupils at Dame B’s in the same way.

What is your favourite film of all time and why?

Apollo 13 is a film exhibiting triumph in extremely challenging circumstances.

How do you relax away from work?

I love coastal walking with my husband, especially in North Norfolk.

What is special about your school?

The family atmosphere at Dame B’s is exceptional. Our visitors comment on our confident, articulate and engaged pupils and the warm environment. Pupils achieve excellent academic results while enjoying the breadth of opportunities we have to offer. It’s a very happy place to learn and to teach.

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