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Head Trauma

Extent: 304 pages

Size: 216x135mm

Publication Date:

Price: £14.99

ISBN: 9781789293692

Categories: Autobiography & Memoir

About the Book

A humorous yet honest look at the education system, from trainee to headteacher across an extraordinary thirty-year career.

‘As I began my teacher training, little did I know of what awaited me. Almost three decades and seven schools later, I am head of a state secondary school. On the wall in my office is a children’s toy, a plastic monster’s head which, if pressed, emits a pre-recorded message: ‘It beggars belief!’. I press the monster whenever I, pupils, parents, staff, or the Department for Education do something that is notable, ludicrous, odd, bewildering or unreasonable. It is pressed so often that I am forever having to replace the batteries.’


Nick Smith charts his journey from trainee teacher through to inspiring head across his thirty-year career, with fascinating insights into the educational system along the way. The catalogue of incidents ranges from the embarrassing to the ridiculous, hilarious to the heart-breaking, and together they illustrate the daily grind of life at the whiteboard face in UK schools. Head Trauma is more than an amusing look at the trials of teacherdom – it’s a call to arms for parents, teachers and pupils alike.

About the Author

Nick Smith worked as a locum doctor for eighteen months in London before being accepted onto a PGCE in Science at London University’s Institute of Education. He spent six months as a penguin keeper at London Zoo whilst waiting for the course to start. He has taught at four comprehensives, one FE college and a grammar school before he landed his headship at Torquay Girls’ Grammar School in 2007, where he remained for the last thirteen years. During his tenure he has taken the school from Ofsted Good to Outstanding and consistently to be one of the top achieving state schools nationally. The school has recently won a number of awards including the 2019 Sunday Times ‘South West State School of the Year’ and the UK ‘2020 Parliament School of the Year’. He regularly contributes to the TES and outside of school he is obsessed with Dartmoor and is possibly the only person to have visited all 367 of its tors and rocks.