According to Jack Allen, he has the best job in the world.
He’s the new head of school at Sunny Bank Primary School in Murston near Sittingbourne and has just completed his first half-term having taken up the role after the Easter holidays.
This is only his third school, having quit a successful career in catering to retrain as a teacher but now he’s a headmaster he couldn’t be happier.
“This is simply the best job in the world,” he said.
“For me, the purpose of education is to deliver exciting and engaging learning experiences and to ignite and nurture the curiosity within all children, everyday.”
He has a good track record. His first school was a large, four-form entry school in Dagenham, East London which had been labelled inadequate by inspectors. As an assistant head he helped move it to good.
His second was a large three-form entry school in Twydall in the Medway Towns which was also labelled as inadequate. He joined as a deputy headteacher and for a while led as acting headteacher.
The team managed to improve the school from inadequate in all categories to good in four out of five. This year he joined Sunny Bank and The Island Learning Trust which also runs two "good" primary schools on the Isle of Sheppey.
He said: “I feel very privileged to be Head of School at Sunny Bank and very proud to be a part of The Island Learning Trust. Primary schools are places of continuous renewal and development and I am passionate about school improvement.
"Sunny Bank is a fantastic school already because of the vision and drive of the Island Learning Trust, the collaboration between the three school and the hard work and dedication of the staff.”
Mr Allen, 40, has a 17-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. He was the first of his family to go to university where he read international business studies with French before embarking on a 10-year career in the restaurant industry. He said: “I was efficient and at the top of my game but I wanted a career where I could make a real difference. In teaching I can have a positive impact on the lives of children.”
So he quit and went back to school to qualify as a teacher.
“I’ve never regretted changing, “ he said. “This is the best job in the world. It’s absolutely brilliant watching children learn and seeing them grow into citizens who can contribute to their communities. It is so rewarding.”
He has joined at an important time for the 180-pupil school as it prepares to grow. A £4m extension is being built with eight classrooms, a nursery and reception which will be ready for pupils in September.
And, of course, it was the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Excited pupils celebrated with a street party in the playground and Year 5s wrote and recorded their own jubilee song called Wave Your Flag.
To help the children learn about the historic significance of the event, they and staff dressed up in the styles popular throughout the decades and played the music of those times, too.
In the morning they made jubilee flowers, sandwiches and biscuits with red, white and blue icing before going outside for a traditional street party with tables in the playground covered in bunting and lots of games and dancing.
Listen to the school’s jubilee song, which was recorded in class with the help of the Songwriting Charity, here.
Mr Allen, who grew up in Cornwall the son of a British Telecom engineer, added: “Sunny Bank is a really good school. It’s been on a journey and now needs to be shown off.”