Rendcomb headteacher keeping his feet on the ground

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Roland Martin outside Rendcomb college Roland Martin outside Rendcomb college

HE may have only been headteacher of Rendcomb College for three years but he is already tasting huge success.

Only weeks after being named in the Good Schools Guide magazines 10 Heads to Watch, Roland Martin sits in his office inside the grand mansion building at Rendcomb, with his feet remaining firmly on the ground.

Roland, a former housemaster at Eton for 13 years, is modest about being thrust into the spotlight by the magazine, which provides information on schools, and says he remains focussed on his job.

“You have just got to ride the crest of a wave. For me it is about this school and this progress and my part in strengthening that,” said Roland who previously studied at Rendcomb, which is an independent boarding and day school for three to 18-year-olds.

“The job I have been given to do is to steer Rendcomb to improvement. That is the onward challenge. We have been through a good inspection and we have been given some strategies for improvement.

“There has been a huge amount going in the last three years. Things are very, very positive here. It is very much a growing school.”

Roland maintains he will welcome with open arms any positive attention the school gets after featuring in the guide.

“I feel really flattered, I know there are some really good heads on the list – it is a privilege to be on there, especially being a small school and a rural school.”

The news that Roland was highlighted as a top head came shortly after the school was visited by representatives of the Good Schools Guide.

In the guide Roland is described as “not posh, scholarship boy done good, likely to do much better.”

He believes this description was given as he was an only child brought up by his mother who then won a scholarship at Rendcomb.

He says that his time being immersed in a community of students at Rendcomb College, made up youngsters from different backgrounds, put him in good stead for his time at Eton.

“When I was at Eton I had a whole range of people in my board.

I had members of the Royal family to people from the East End of London.

“I found out how to mix with different sorts of people when I was a kid at Rendcomb – I found it a very useful environment.”

Roland believes the key ingredient to being a successful head is keeping busy and always striving to know more about his pupils.

“If you are a good head you are a restless head and always want to do more things.”

“The thing that makes me restless is making sure that the people in our care get the best experience as possible.

“You always want to make it better for them.”

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