Nick Smith worked as a junior doctor for eighteen months before being accepted onto a PGCE in Science at a teacher training college in London. He spent six months as a penguin keeper at London Zoo while 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 until his retirement in 2021. During his tenure he has taken the school from Ofsted rating Good to Outstanding and to be consistently 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.
Since retiring he has contributed to the TES. He is obsessed with Dartmoor National Park and is one of the few people to have visited all 365 of its tors and rocks.