A former head of science at a middle school has had to retrain as a piano teacher after being made redundant in Suffolk’s move to two tier education.
Alastair Blay, 49, of Elmswell, worked at Ixworth Middle for more than eight years but lost his job when the school closed last July.
The father of two, who has been a teacher for 20 years, was unable to get a job at another school last September and was forced to sign on at the Job Centre. On Saturday though he qualified as a piano teacher to boost his employment opportunities.
Mr Blay said: “I was at the Job Centre and basically signing on. I tried to become self employed and did quite a lot of supply work. While this was all going on I worked to get my qualification.”
He is currently teaching maths and science at Needham Market Middle, which closes this year. He said: “They’re a really good school and the kids are great.”
Mr Blay, who has played the piano since the age of 11, studied for the diploma from the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music in Cambridge.
He said it is in memory of his father Derrick Blay, former chief executive of Suffolk Coastal District Council, who died of Parkinson’s Disease and always encouraged him to play the piano.
Mr Blay said: “My aim ultimately is to be flexible about where my future takes me - maybe going into schools teaching piano and maybe if something comes up to work back in science.” He also runs a maths tutoring business www.mathstree.co.uk