We hear from the men and women at the front of the class about what inspired – and continues to inspire – them to take up teaching. Here’s the view from the staff room at Forres Sandle Manor


Clare Rowntree (Head of Boarding)

What motivated you to take up teaching?
My teachers at school inspired me to follow in their footsteps, particularly my specialist music teachers who ignited my passion for music-making and said from an early age that I would become a teacher myself one day! After studying at Trinity College of Music, I started my career as a peripatetic music teacher and I’ve never looked back.

What brought you to and keeps you at your school?
I started at Forres Sandle Manor in September 2008 as a specialist upper strings teacher. I clearly remember arriving for my interview and passing the ‘Caution – Free Range Children’ sign.  I knew then that FSM was the school for me! Whilst my role has changed significantly in nine years, the ethos and values of FSM continue. Children have a passion for learning, embrace challenges and thrive in the family atmosphere of our close-knit prep school. The grounds are stunning and the boarders enjoy a wonderful childhood in our beautiful location. FSM is not only where I work, but it’s my home too, with my husband also working at FSM and my daughter is in the Pre-Prep.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job and its biggest challenge?
My daily interaction with the children is without doubt the most rewarding aspect of my role. It is an immense privilege being a house parent, playing such an important part in a child’s life during their time with us. There is an enormous amount of fun to be had in the boarding house but I am also there to provide all the support and care needed for the children to thrive. FSM has a long association with military families and we have recently launched FSM’s SAS (Supporting Active Service), providing additional practical and emotional support for our military children when a parent is deployed on active service. The biggest challenge would have to be my inbox, keeping on top of emails and never quite knowing what will come in!  

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