Meet the Head: Frances King of Roedean School
Frances King is Headmistress of Roedean, one of the world's leading academic day and boarding schools for girls from 11-18 years. In another life she would have been an archaeologist and she is a great admirer of the Scots. Here she tells us more
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have done instead?I grew up in Asia and was fascinated by the colourful culture and perspective on the world. I then studied theology and spent some time researching history in Israel, so maybe I would have been an archaeologist – discovering the hidden past of ancient civilisations.
Was there any type of school dinner that you couldn’t stand? Boarding life for me started quite young and all I seem to remember eating was Spam with everything – reminds me of the famous Monty Python sketch from that era. Today at Roedean the girls enjoy haute cuisine with an international flavour but drawing on local and organic produce to support the Sussex farming and fishing community.
What were your favourite lessons at school?I loved philosophy and RE – the lessons were dynamic, exciting and the teachers expected great things of us. I still have that passion for the subject. Today, I encourage our teachers to be inspirational and to share their enthusiasm and inspire a love for learning.
So, your Desert Island Disc…?I enjoy listening to any piece by the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, particularly his best known rousing nationalistic symphony, Finlandia. On the popular front, I have the latest Mumford & Sons album on my iPod.
What is your favourite film?The latest Johnny English film was hilarious. A great British comedy reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously. That’s really important in a boarding school environment, to create a happy and fun environment.
How do you like to relax?We are so fortunate at Roedean to be located within a National Park and on the coast. To relax, I take our chocolate Labrador, Gilly, for a walk through the school grounds with views across the Sussex coastline then down onto the beach. The sea air and spectacular views are a wonderful way to unwind.
- 1 Win the full range of Bashall Spirits Gins
- 2 20 of the best places to eat out in St Ives
- 3 Seven Falls, Tintwistle - a hidden gem in the Peak District
- 4 10 great circular walks in Lancashire
- 5 15 festivals and shows happening this summer in Devon
- 6 9 places to eat out in Chester this summer
- 7 Peek inside this £1.9m Cotswold house with breathtaking countryside views
- 8 6 waterfall walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District
- 9 20 of the best restaurants in Hertfordshire
- 10 10 great circular walks in Cheshire
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?I am a great admirer of the achievements of the Scottish both today and in the past – their significant influence on education, industry and community. I would ensure that their views were heard in Parliament and that they were given more recognition as a nation.