Martin Duffell 1973 – 1981

How has the experience helped shape you as a person (and as a professional too?)

Martin Duffell was a student at Wolverhampton Grammar School between 1973 and 1981.

 Martin-Duffell 

After leaving School, Martin went on to study Law and French at the University of Keele, before embarking on a career in the City of London, working for stockbrokers and investment banks, and ultimately – for the past 16 years – HM Treasury’s Debt Management Office, which is responsible for the entire nation’s finances (and deficit!) at an operational level. Martin is currently the senior dealer there, and was awarded the OBE in 2011 for services to UK public finances, most notably during the 2008-09 financial market crisis.

What influenced your parents to send you to the Grammar?
My parents moved to Wolverhampton, from Stourbridge, in 1973, following my father’s appointment as Chief Executive of the Borough Council. WGS was, in those days, still non-fee paying and the best school in the town, judged by results and reputation. I remember having to sit the 11+ exam on my own (as an out-of-area student at the time), but fortunately passed.

What was it like?
I very much enjoyed my time at WGS. I remember with fondness some of the teachers and the lessons taught and learned. I also admire their longevity and dedication to the school and its pupils. I have a clear memory of the buildings and classrooms – some now gone, and the sports fields and facilities.

Are you still in touch with people now?
I am still in touch with some London-based former classmates, and occasionally join up with them to watch Wolverhampton Wanderers play in the capital.

How has the experience helped shape you as a person?
WGS taught me the value of taking pride in one’s work, delivering to highest possible standard and trying to add that valuable extra bit. Expertise in a specialist field can be lucrative and rewarding. Good written and spoken grammar is also a dwindling asset these days!

What advice would you give to a parent of a child thinking of sending their child to Wolverhampton Grammar School?
Don’t hesitate!

What advice would you give to a current student/someone about to leave the School?
Enjoy and make the most of your time at the school, its facilities and its teaching staff. Study hard, but strike a balance with outside interests too – these can give you an edge in university applications and subsequent job interviews. These days you will be competing in a global employment market place, so retain hunger, don’t become complacent and don’t waste the starting advantage you have been given!

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