Worth is delighted to welcome new Deputy Head (Academic), Dr Daniel Coughlan.
Dr Coughlan was until recently a Vice Principal at New Hall School in Essex. Before that he was the Director of Sixth Form at St Mary’s School, Ascot. He has previously taught at Magdalen College School, Oxford; North London Collegiate School, London; Hills Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge, and Mayfield School in East Sussex, where he was Head of Religious Studies.
Dr Coughlan read Divinity at Trinity College, Cambridge, and then completed a Masters at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, before returning to Trinity to complete his doctorate.
In this Q&A, Dr Coughlan talks about why he is delighted to join Worth, his key goals for the role and how he wants to build further on the School’s strong academic tradition.
What attracted you to Worth?
The flourishing of young people, academically and otherwise, is what first attracted me to teaching. Worth, which is blessed to have outstanding staff, grounds and facilities, offers a tremendous opportunity to contribute to this goal. Worth has a reputation for treating each pupil as an individual and encouraging them to realise their full potential. I’m particularly excited about how happily and effectively such an approach can be pursued through drawing upon the rich Benedictine educational tradition.
What do you see as the key aspects of your role?
Since beginning at Worth I’ve been especially struck by the dedication of the teaching staff. It’s my privilege to be tasked with supporting teachers, so that their efforts are able to benefit pupils to the greatest possible extent. At Worth the focus is on providing an education with heart and soul. As such, I especially look forward to helping young people mature as well-rounded individuals. It is part of every member of staff’s role to embody the values which underpin the celebrated ethos at Worth. These values help form what is a supportive school community, and I hope that pupils will be enabled to benefit from these values in their broader lives, and utilise them in the service of others.
What are your goals as Deputy Head (Academic)?
I hope to engender a confident, happy, and academically inquiring culture among the pupils, helping them both to thrive as individuals and to make their own positive and generous contribution to the world around them. To achieve this, pupils must be offered a wide variety of academic subjects, taught in a way that inspires them and that addresses their particular needs. This is what will best allow pupils to make full use of their gifts and talents, and both discern and fulfil their vocation in life. It is vital to help pupils to think and work independently, so they are set up for a lifetime of continual learning and personal fulfilment.
Worth has a strong academic reputation. How important is it to maintain and build on this?
It is necessary not to be complacent and to continue to focus on excellent academic outcomes. This must sit alongside the value that is rightly placed on different levels and types of attainment. Worth is primarily concerned with the happiness of the pupils entrusted to its care, and its choice of a broad and holistic educational offering should continue to reflect this. I hope that a Worth education continues to be experienced as a precious gift that prepares all its pupils for success in life. The focus of my role is academic success. I am glad to be able to pursue this goal in a supportive community context that values each pupil as themselves.