I was born in Compton, a rural village north of Newbury, in 1951.
Values, attitudes and the pace of life were very different in those days, and in particular the uses of language.
I was one of three pupils who passed the 11+ and so enrolled in St. Bartholomew's Grammar School Newbury, in September 1962. Originally, the ambition to be a computer scientist drove me to choose French, Chemistry and Maths for 'A' Levels, when the bar for the qualifications needed to embark upon this career was set high ..... too high, as it turned out! After a 'gap year' exploring other avenues, I sought advice from my old headmaster B.E.D. Cooper, who advised me to become a teacher. This surprised me, since I had been less than the perfect student!
I applied (late) to St. Paul's College, Cheltenham, in September 1970, hoping to become a Maths/PE teacher! Unfortunately, because I hadn't played hockey, cricket or rugby for town or county, it seems there were no vacancies in the PE department! Furthermore, because I only scraped a pass in Maths, there were no vacancies in the Maths department, either. But, there were spaces left to study English and French!!
Four years later, I emerged with a B.Ed (Hons) degree, in English, Sociology and Education, and secured my first post at a comprehensive school in Huntingdon, where I met and married a beautiful young woman, Kathy, a fashion model who, unfortunately, ran off with a salesman, three years later! From there, I worked in a variety of schools, but my best years were reserved for the 80's and 90's, when middle schools were at their peak, and teaching across the curriculum was a speciality. This set of skills and language sets that were to become of greater use, later in my varied working life.
Since then, I have assisted people with their writing in a variety of ways. Some needed help with solicitors' letters, making a complaint, organising their CV's, improving the impact of notices and Powerpoint presentations! In all of these activities, as with guiding students through SATs and GCSE's, the overriding principle has been to maximise the power of language. It is the power of language that has driven me towards creating FPI Proofreading.