Search

Retiring headteacher of UCS Junior remembers proudest and darkest times at the school

09:00 14 June 2014

Kevin Douglas head of UCS Junior branch due to retire at the end of term. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Kevin Douglas head of UCS Junior branch due to retire at the end of term. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

A rugby-loving headteacher set to retire after leading a Hampstead junior school for 13 years has named his proudest memory as the moment he was told that Ofsted had rated the school “outstanding”.

Kevin Douglas, who will step down from the top job at University College School (UCS) Junior Branch next month, was sat next to UCS chair of governors, Sir Brian Leveson, who led the inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal, when the announcement was made.

His darkest times came when a parent sat down in his office to tell him that he had terminal cancer.

“I had a father come in and say, ‘I’m dying, will you be a role model for my son?’ That’s emotionally draining,” said married father-of-three Mr Douglas, who has three grandchildren under the age of two.

Mr Douglas, who joined the public school as headteacher in 2001, said he felt guilty when he first announced his retirement last autumn, but he now feels it was “the right decision”.

He will remain in the world of education, as he is to become chairman of the International Association of Preparatory Schools Charitable Trust, which hands out grants to those struggling with school fees, and will be governor of two independent junior schools.

He also spoke of his concerns that children with English as a second language will struggle to cope with the new National Curriculum.

Foreign languages will become compulsory from the age of seven at state primary schools from September, but Mr Douglas believes the measure could affect the performance of children who are not native English speakers. “We already teach French between seven and 11, we even do a Year 5 French play,” said the 58-year-old, of Mill Hill. “But we are a selective school with really bright children who can keep up with French.

“There are some schools, particularly in state schools, that have a high proportion of foreign children. It’s much more important that they learn to reach a high standard of English rather than worry about another foreign language.”

Mr Douglas trained to be a teacher at Loughborough University and 
began his career at Queen Elizabeth’s School in Barnet in 1977, where he taught maths and physical education.

But he juggled teaching with rugby and played for top sides Saracens and Harlequins, where he was a team-mate of England’s Rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward, before the sport turned professional.

He then moved to Belmont School, Mill Hill, in 1982, becoming deputy headteacher in 1992, before joining UCS Junior Branch nine years later.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

11:55
David Cameron. Picture: PA/Anthony Devlin.

Conservatives in Hampstead have spoken out to defend residents after Prime Minister David Cameron attacked Labour leader Ed Miliband for personifying the “we-know-best attitude of the Hampstead socialist”.

11:51
Have your say: Take part in our General Election 2015 survey

With a month to go before the 2015 General Election we want to know your views.

12:51
H&H Prize winner Lizzy Chater in the signature red polka dot dress at Blustons. Picture: Polly Hancock

Today, iconic women’s clothes store Blustons will be closing its doors for the last time.

Yesterday, 17:15
West End star Tim McArthur (centre) with Louise Clayton (left) and Jackie Marks. Picture: Tony Gay

Tim McArthur is an actor, singer, director and presenter who is starring in Bathhouse The Musical at Above The Stag Theatre. He has lived in Highgate since 1997 and programmed Cabaret in The House at Lauderdale House since 2001. On April 17 he interviews his dear chum, actress Su Pollard, to raise money the Lauderdale Transformed crowdfunding campaign.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Munch on a tasy three course dinner at The Refinery!

“Where to go for a drink near Great Portland Street?” was previously met with blank expressions and shrugs for those local to the area, not anymore, thanks to the opening of The Refinery at Regent’s Place, the eighth bar and restaurant from hugely-successful group Drake & Morgan.

Funky adidias iPhone cases up for grabs!

We’ve teamed up with adidas Originals to give away four iPhone 5/5s cases.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder