Tim Wilkes - Fellow
Choosing a school is an odd thing when you think about it. Rather like buying a house, you spend a lot of money on something that you’ve spent a relatively short period of time looking at. Ultimately, as is often the case with these things and despite a lot of research by Mrs Wilkes, gut instinct still played a key role and that’s how the journey began at Warwick Prep in 1999.
Twenty odd years on and I’m still around, pandemics notwithstanding. Not quite so involved these days as was once the case but I still feel very much a part of something amazing. Something that has evolved over a long period of time to where we are now and something that will continue to develop and improve and innovate into the future.
I was a “Drop Off Dad” in the Prep School years and wasn’t particularly involved with school things until Number Two Daughter arrived at King’s in 2010. I was charmed into agreeing to think about possibly joining the school PTA at the entrance exam morning whilst being plied with caffeine and biscuits. The deal was that if NTD got an offer I’d sign up. When Pippa Gagie stood down in the Easter Term of her Chairship in 2011, I apparently was “it”. It struck me at that time that I really should have been paying more attention during the previous months. Fortunately, there was a solid core of committee members that made things doable and indeed enabled us to build on what had gone before and expand the franchise. Mrs Surber tolerated my inability to chair an orderly meeting and later, Mr Nicholson did the same, both with a smile on their faces. It says a lot more about them than it does about me. Due largely to indifference from the rest of the committee I remained in post until 2017 and had the joy of helping to make uniform sales termly, adding “Coffee & Croissants”, “A Taste of King’s”, expanding the annual Personal Achievement Awards, adding the now legendary Dog Show, Annual Balls, developing a closer relationship with WPSA (our opposite numbers at The Prep), sponsored scrolls for Speech Day, sponsored school residencies and The Head Master’s Quiz. It was a lot of fun and due almost entirely to the patience, hard work and commitment of the aforementioned KHAPS committee.
Being a founder member of The Landor Association has been a pleasure and incredibly rewarding. Its aim is to enhance the work of the current Parents' Associations and the Old Girls' Association (OGA) of King's High, providing opportunities for former parents, staff and Governors and our many friends in the wider community, to be more actively involved in the life of King's and The Prep. Pop along to: landorassociation.co.uk to find out more.
Number Two Daughter graduated last summer (2:1, thanks for asking) and it occurred to me that I’d had a longer association with King’s than my children had and thought perhaps now was the time to finally step away. And then this. A Fellowship no less. An opportunity to continue an association that began over a third of my lifetime ago. It reminds me a little of the JFK quote: “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. Of course, he got shot not long after but I’m sure you get my point. It’s easy not to get involved but I can honestly say from the other side of that argument that it’s also very easy to get involved. Hopefully, it encourages other parents to commit wherever and whenever time allows and sets a great example to our offspring to also get involved in things: to show commitment to something worthwhile, to see a different side to things, to work together with others, to be able to contribute and, ultimately, to see the results of that commitment.
I am truly honoured to be asked to become a Fellow of The Landor Association for many reasons but mainly because I believe that we can and should continue to help our girls in any and every way we can. A first class education is a great start but we can also provide them with a network that gives them access to old girls, parents and friends of the school that can help and advise with everything from university choices and career opportunities in the future.
Looks like I’m going to be around for a bit longer…..