Old boy Ed Gould was himself helped by a bursary to St Edward's
11:34am Thursday 27th September 2012 in St Edward's Bursary - win our £150,000, five-year bursary at the school
Most people who meet Ed Gould want to ask him about the real Kate Middleton. It’s hard to resist, given that as her former head at Marlborough College, he was uniquely placed to witness the development of our future Queen from a girl into a woman.
But those with a close interest in the state of education, also regularly beat a path to Mr Gould’s door, to seek his advice on curriculum, academies and running a successful school.
Little wonder then that St Edward’s School, where he was a pupil 50 years ago, has always been keen to enlist his help for many years until recently as a governor and now as the president of its former pupil society.
His new role will undoubtedly allow him to play a significant role in the school’s 150th birthday celebrations and the school’s soon to be launched fundraising initiative, the St Edward’s Foundation, which will raise money for an Oxford concert hall and the provision of scholarships and bursaries.
News of the bursary competition being run by St Edward’s with The Oxford Times is a particular cause of delight for Mr Gould, who retired as master of Marlborough in 2007 after 21 years. For he was able to attend Teddies himself between 1957 and 1962 thanks to a bursary. He was to go on to St Edmund Hall, Oxford, becoming an Oxford rugby blue and Great Britain rower, starting his teaching career at Harrow in 1967.
He would later serve as headmaster of Felsted School in Essex and as chairman of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference: no one could say he did not make the most of it.
“It was a totally different world when I was a pupil here,” said Mr Gould on one of his regular visits to the school from his home in Norfolk.
“I think it was tougher then in that you went down a set path. The school did not have such wide links with the community that it now has.”
For him, rather than teaching pupils to pass exams, a school ought to bestow the ability to live in a community, ensure individuals learn about their strengths and weaknesses and develop a set of values helping them make sound judgments as adults.
So did such an approach make the Duchess of Cambridge the confident woman she is today?
“She was a prefect. Katherine was a very positive girl. She was talented academically and an excellent games player.”
She was to leave Marlborough College in July 2000 with 11 GCSEs and three A-level exams in chemistry, biology and art under her belt.
He was to be among the guests at her wedding.
Mr Gould went on to serve on the Boards of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and serve as chairman of United Learning Trust, the largest sponsor of academies in the UK.
As he headed off to meet the warden of St Edward’s, Stephen Jones, to discuss a busy year of fundraising, you could be sure this former pupil was as keen to celebrate the future of the famous North Oxford school as its past.