After leaving School, Simon went on to Cardiff University to study journalism and then University of Wolverhampton to study business and management. He has had a successful career in publishing after working for BMJ (British Medical Journal) for twenty years, he has set up a digital healthcare consultancy, TallSim Limited. He is also a committee member of Pharmaceutical Marketing Society.
He has been married to Lindsay for 19 years and they live in Radley, Oxfordshire
What influenced your parents to send you to the Grammar? My father and his brothers went to WGS and when the Grammar School was threatened with being turned into a comprehensive, my parents supported the campaign to take it independent and keep its selective school status.
I was all set to go to Malvern College, but the campaign to keep WGS’ status as a grammar school influenced my parents to put me through the 13 plus entrance exam. They felt I would thrive more in a meritocratic environment with fellow students from different backgrounds.
I was in the first intake of students to the school in its new independent status in 1979.
Are you still in touch with people now? I remember my first day walking into 3/4 in the Derry Building as the new boy when everyone else had been there for two years. I soon found some great friends, such as John Mason, Michael Edwards and Mark Starling. I am still in touch with them, as well as the likes of Jon Gripton, Si Cartwright, Jim Wilkinson and Paul Hopkins.
I also remember what an important influence the teachers played in our development. I particularly remember John Johnson and Tim Browning.
How has the experience helped shape you as a person? I enjoyed the breadth of subjects and also the extra curricula activities such as skiing, drama, debating and field trips. Perhaps I wasn’t the most academic of pupils, but I think WGS gave me: self-belief; confidence; ability to talk to anyone and treat everyone equally; a sense of what is right, and a hatred of injustice and prejudice.
What have you been doing since leaving the Grammar? I have been in publishing for over twenty years, most recently working for BMJ (British Medical Journal). I have just launched a publishing and marketing consultancy working commercial and “third sector” partners in the field of healthcare.
What advice would you give to a parent of a child thinking of sending their child to Wolverhampton Grammar School? Do it – you won’t regret it.
What advice would you give to a current student/someone about to leave the School? Whatever you choose in life after school, believe in who you are and what you do and never miss an opportunity.