A TEACHER has become Head of VI Six for Sigma Sixth Tendring, a collective that includes Clacton County High School where he was a student more than 20 years ago.

Sean Duffy, 33, of Little Clacton, was at the school in 2000 and admits he was not a model student.

He also conceded at that point he did not understand the value of education.

It was Sean’s English teacher Charlotte Booth-Rylett who first inspired him to teach and Mr Duffy cited her commitment to the students as the deciding factor in his choice.

He added: “It was more than the acquisition of knowledge that was important to her.

“I always felt that she was showing me how to be a better young man and I aspired to be just like her.

“The moments when a student lets you know how grateful they are, these are the things that have the biggest impact.”

He undertook his teacher training with the North Essex Teacher Training in 2012 and started teaching at CCHS in the same year.

Sean said: “When you want to be a teacher as much as I did, the challenges feel more like opportunity. The training year is a real slog because of the amount you are trying to learn in that short time.

“I sacrificed my social life almost entirely during that period but it was a short time loss for long term gain. The first year is when you build all of your character.”

He feels that his former secondary school has changed since he was a student.

Sean said: “Today, Clacton County High School has evolved into a thriving, safe, progressive, diverse, unified entity with a broad and balanced curriculum which fully supports the student on their journey to become lifelong learners.”

Along with the school, Sean recognises that the education system itself has changed considerably since his youth.

He highlights the significant developments in understanding around managing student’s behaviour and how that can improve their learning.

Sean added: “I feel psychologists and educationalists have been at the centre of school improvement since I have been teaching.

“We no longer focus on the teaching but instead the learning and that is the biggest change.”