Martin Reader at Cranleigh School - Meet the Head

Martin Reader at Cranleigh School

Martin Reader at Cranleigh School - Credit: Archant

A film-loving, bird of prey fanatic with a record-breaking appetite and taste for the countryside: meet the brand-new headmaster at Cranleigh School, Martin Reader

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

I wanted to be a professional cricketer but was not great at cricket and, at university, a children’s television presenter – not too dissimilar from teaching, I suppose. More realistically, I would have pursued a career in academia, though I did not see many job opportunities for specialists in 15th century Scottish literature.


What were your own favourite lessons at school?

We had the most amazing history teacher who used to bring in endlessly fascinating sources on the social and industrial history he was researching, so we saw the real lives of the period we were studying and not just events. Also, to be studying economics in the 80s, when we read about new theories in the classroom and saw Reaganomics and Thatcherite monetarism happening in front of our eyes, was brilliant.


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

Those with small portions. I shudder to remember that I held my primary school record for eating 14 spam fritters.


How do you like to relax away from life at school?

I go to the gym, ski, read… I am at my happiest in the countryside with a pair of binoculars watching wildlife. I am a Trustee of the Hawk and Owl Trust.


Which is your favourite film?

Earlier Peter Greenaway films, though Drowning by Numbers is my favourite. In less pretentious moments, it would have to be Lord of the Rings.


So, your Desert Island Disc…?

Elgar’s Cello Concerto.


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

Disconnect the Department of Education from the government in power and move away from the system of annual budgets for local councils to allow better long-term planning.


• Cranleigh School, Horseshoe Lane, Cranleigh GU6 8QQ. A co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 13 to 18. Contacts: 01483 273666 / /




School of thought...


Maths or English?

English is my subject. I always struggled at maths, so I have always been sympathetic to those who find words more difficult.


School dinners or packed lunch?

School dinners every time! I lose weight during the holidays.


Newsletter or Twitter?

If head teachers are honest, we all like our own voice a little too much, so both!