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HEAD Space with Port Regis

Stephen Ilett, Head of Port Regis School, Dorset, tells us what makes him tick at school and beyond

Who or what inspired you to teach?

My father. He was a Housemaster at Rossall in Lancashire for eighteen years. In fact many of my family are teachers so you could say it is in the blood.

Do you have an all-time favourite book?

Middlemarch by George Eliot. I’ve read it many times and never tire of it.

What sort of music do you listen to? Favourite piece or song?

A variety, depending on my mood! My favourites are Mozart’s Horn Concerto No 4 and Fix You by Coldplay.

Favourite play or musical?

Guys and Dolls.

Your personal motto in life?

You only get out of life what you put in to it.

If you could only bring three things to a desert island what would they be?

My 7 iron, a bag of golf balls and my wife!

Who would your five ideal dinner guests be (famous, living or dead)?

Napoleon, Judy Dench, David Attenborough, Jane Austen and CB Fry.

If you were invisible for the day what would you do?

Have a seat at the Cabinet table at No 10, Downing Street.

What is your greatest achievement?

I came to teaching later in life, following a career in the City, and have been lucky enough to be Headmaster of two wonderful schools – Milbourne Lodge, and now Port Regis.

If you weren’t headmaster, what would your dream job be?

A travel writer. Michael Palin’s job looks like it would be perfect.

Greatest all time movie?

I love films but if I have to choose one it would be The Sound of Music – it can still make me cry.

What was your favourite subject at school?

French, even though I did a History degree. 

Any signature dishes?

I cook a mean curry.

One thing you always make sure you have on your desk?

A bottle of water.

Why, in your opinion is your school best?

The quality of the staff, both academic and non-academic. They truly are phenomenal.

What three things do you need to be a successful headmaster?

Focus, compassion and a good sense of humour.

Best advice you would give your new school joiners?

Give everything a go, always try your hardest and remember that these are some of the best days of your life.

In one sentence, what is your school’s ethos?

To provide a broad, world-class education that enables each and every child to flourish intellectually, emotionally, physically and personally, well prepared for their future.

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