The Cranbrook School student who grew up to be its headmaster, we get to know Mr Will Chuter

Why did you choose to go into teaching?  I was late to teaching. After university, I worked in offices and found it dull. I missed my subject, Classics and the variety of a school experience. I wanted to be challenged and to make a difference by developing the character of tomorrow’s adults. And I had loved my own school days, which helps!

What was your favourite subject at school?  Ancient History – great stories and characters, lessons for the future, and fantastic teaching. 

Can you tell us about one of your happiest school memories?  I am an Old Cranbrookian myself and could name any point in time from my Sixth Form at Cranbrook, which was made very happy by my friends. We played competitive sports together, made music together, revised together and challenged each other academically. They remain my closest friends.

Have your own school days influenced the way you will approach your role as headmaster?  Definitely. I was fortunate to experience high-quality teaching, an ambitious academic environment, a stimulating co-curricular programme, excellent pastoral care, and a tolerant atmosphere where friendships could flourish. I believe these are key elements to a successful and happy school and the Cranbrookians of today deserve them too.

What were you doing before accepting the headmaster position at Cranbrook? I had been Deputy Head (Pastoral) at Gresham’s School in North Norfolk. I oversaw the personal development and welfare of 520 13-18 year-old boarders and day pupils for five years.

If you could teach anyone – either present day or from history – who would you choose?  I always like the idea of learning from your pupils, so I would like to sit down with the Athenian politician Pericles, the Carthaginian commander Hannibal Barca, and the ‘First Lady’ of Augustan Rome, Livia, and spend glorious hours understanding their cultures and motivations.

What are you looking forward to this coming year? Everything! But especially getting to know all the pupils and staff and their families.

What do you think makes Cranbrook School special? It is unique: a 500-year-old, selective, co-ed, state boarding school that strives for top academic results while setting great store by character education and the development of the whole person. It has rightly been called the ‘jewel in the crown’ of state education. It is a privilege to be a small part of it.

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