Adam Turner the new 6th Form Academy Director at Highbury College

What do Simon Cowell and the new Director of Highbury College’s Sixth Form Academy have in common?

Well, long before he changed career and went into teaching, Adam Turner worked in the music business alongside names such as Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen and Coldplay. “Simon Cowell and I did pretty much the same job,” said Adam, “only I think he was more successful at it than me in the end.”

It was an exciting life split between business interests in New York and London but big changes in the music industry forced Adam to reassess his life back in 2008. That’s when he decided to make the move into teaching.

“I suppose I felt what I was doing didn’t really matter,” he said. “I wanted to do something important, to be able to make a difference to young people’s lives.”

Using his BSc in Biochemistry as a springboard, Adam trained as teacher and then went on to do a Master’s in Teaching while working at a big London comprehensive. After a spell heading up the Chemistry Department of a private boarding school, he’s now taken up the reins at Highbury College’s growing Sixth form Academy where success rates are 100% at A2 Level.

So why does Adam think Highbury College has got the X Factor? 

Quite simply, it's because Highbury College has had a key place in Portsmouth for more than fifty years and its links with industry make it the best place to study if you want to succeed in the 21st century economy. And with changes coming up in the way A Levels are delivered and assessed, those links with the real world are going to be more important than ever.

“It’s all about better aligning further education with the needs and demands of the modern economy,” he said. “This is something I have direct experience with and feel very passionate about. I don’t feel all teenagers are necessarily getting a fair deal as things stand, particularly with the level of student debt many will acquire.

“The latest A Level reforms allow for a hybrid option between academic and general vocational areas of study, such as engineering, computing, business, digital media and so academic study can be more directly relevant to high value graduate jobs.

“A college like Highbury has the best of both worlds and a fantastic heritage of developing relationships with industries to meet business needs and I hope to tap into this when developing our academic A Level programmes.

“That’s why I’m so excited about this job, it provides a real opportunity to offer an academic route, including university, which gives more certainty to high value job prospects.”

Article Details

  • Date 09/09/2015