CJ (Jonty) Driver has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in education in the UK and overseas, including three headships. In this poignant memoir, he provides a compelling insight into school life, with wisdom gained from a lifetime of learning.
C J ('Jonty') Driver was for many years a teacher, in Africa, Hong Kong and England, in comprehensive, international and independent schools. He is now a full-time writer, living in East Sussex, but travelling regularly to his country of birth, South Africa. After qualifying as a teacher at the University of Cape Town (1958-62), he was President of the National Union of South African Students, 1963 and 1964, and was held in solitary confinement under Ninety Day Detention by the South African police in 1964. Refused the renewal of his passport while a postgraduate student at Oxford, he became stateless before getting British citizenship, though he remained a prohibited immigrant in South Africa until 1991. He taught at Sevenoaks School (1964-5, 1967-73), where he was Housemaster of the International Sixth Form Centre. He then became Director of Sixth Form Studies at Matthew Humberstone Comprehensive School in Cleethorpes before becoming Principal of Island School, Hong Kong (1978-83) He was Headmaster of Berkhamsted (1983-9) and then Master of Wellington College (1989-2000). Jonty Driver has been an honorary senior lecturer in the School of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia since 2007. He was a judge of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2007 and again in 2008. He was a research fellow at the University of York in 1976 and more recently has held residencies at the Liguria Study Centre in Bogliasco, at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and at the Hawthornden Writers' Retreat near Edinburgh. He has governed a variety of schools and has been a Trustee of the Beit Trust since 1999. He has published five novels (the first four of which were re-issued by Faber Finds in 2010), two biographies, a memoir, an essay in autobiography, and seven collections of poems, the most recent Citizen of Elsewhere, Happenstance Press, 2013.