Performing is in Shaun Fenton’s blood. He may be the new leader of Britain’s top private schools, but he is also the son of 1970s rock star Alvin Stardust, his mother was a dancer and his brother is an award-winning DJ and record producer.
“The advantage my dad always had was that people had chosen to turn up by buying a ticket. The disadvantage for teachers is the students haven’t any choice. That’s why teaching is a performance art,” he explained, sitting in his study in Reigate grammar school where he is head teacher.
“You have a different audience seven times a day that you have to enthral, inspire, engage and help to learn as well as enjoy your lesson.”
It is a vocation that has taken him from PPE at Oxford University (the first in his family to stay on at school beyond 15) to a career in a state comprehensive (the Ridings was then seen as the toughest in Britain), state grammar, state academy and now chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistress’ Conference (HMC), overseeing schools from Eton and Harrow to Manchester and Reigate.
No previous chairman has had such a breadth of school experience to draw on to articulate a vision for HMC. In an interview to open his year in charge, he outlined that vision: it will focus on tackling the rise in child mental ill health, helping children cope with social media and ensuring HMC schools play a key part in helping disadvantaged pupils.
Social media, he believes, is contributing to a mental health crisis among children that is “a real tragedy for our time”. He said emerging evidence pointed to the constant pressure to be online and incessant stream of negative information damaging children’s mental health.
“The tragedies in the world, the problems in conflict areas, the disease, issues causing mass migration are in the consciousness of young people more than ever before,” he said.
This article was written by Charles Hymas. You can read the full article when you follow this link- https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/12/impact-social-media-childrens-mental-health-real-tragedy-time/