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Born and educated in South Africa, Anton Maree started his teaching career at a large co-educational day school in Johannesburg before moving to King William’s College in the Isle of Man and latterly Rossall School in Lancashire, where he was Deputy Head. He joined Ackworth as Head in 2014.
Who/what inspired you to become a teacher?
My mother, Janet Maree, was a Breakthrough to Literacy Specialist in South Africa. Her methods were simple yet revolutionary and she inspired a generation of teachers to help children lacking literacy experience and those with special needs. Her books, the Breakthrough series have taught literacy to millions of Southern African learners and were translated into nine languages. She was selfless and determined, gained little financial reward for her work and prevailed despite a lack of government investment. She never stopped working and continued to give literacy lessons to young children in the back of her car during her 70s. She continues to inspire me today!
What achievement are you most proud of as Head?
I have made my school more visible within our community, by offering access to our facilities and the strengths of an independent school education. I offer opportunities to children that are life changing whilst continuing to make sure that my school provides an excellent education for all.
What does a successful school look like to you?
Our purpose is to provide an excellent education and that is a primary focus. Schools are measured in accordance with academic performance and we strive to raise our standards. However, success is more aptly measured through other means. My students have a strong sense of social justice, take risks because they are not judged by their peers, integrate easily
because they accept one another, are all engaged in the opportunities to learn without much prompting, and don’t require much discipline because they appreciate the trust that is bestowed upon them. Essentially those are the hallmarks of a successful school.
What is the most important quality you want every child to have when they leave your school? And why?
Initiative. The world is changing, fast. Employers are looking for employees who are not afraid to take calculated risks, and who are prepared to challenge themselves, on a daily basis.
Please give 5 words to describe the ethos of your school.
Simplicity, Truth, Equality, Peace and Sustainability
This school is independently managed and its admission criteria may be selective. There is no set catchment area as pupils are admitted from a wide variety of postcodes and, in the case of boarding schools, from outside the UK. Contact the school directly or visit their website for more information on Admissions Policy and Procedures.
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