Teacher no longer tied up in knots

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A teacher’s fantastic tie collection is now considerably smaller – but his pot of cash for a learning journey in Africa is a lot bigger.

Brooke Weston Academy teacher Robert Nicholls is retiring this summer and will be heading on a two-year placement in the Sudan with wife Linda as part of the Voluntary Service Overseas organisation.

Head of foreign languages Mr Nicholls had a huge collection of more than 300 ties, but auctioned more than 100 off to raise money for the trip.

The auction and a mufti day at the school raised more than £2,500 for the trip, which will see Mr and Mrs Nicholls act as education advisers with the Ministry of Education.

In preparation for his trip he will undergo three days of motorbike training as he will need to use a motorbike to travel between 46 schools in the district around Rumbek, while his wife, Linda, who currently trains primary teachers in the UK, will be advising the Government on a regional level.

Mr Nicholls said: “Thanks to all those who took part in the tie auction and mufti day. An amazing amount of money was raised for Voluntary Service Overseas.

“This is going to be a fascinating new adventure, even if it is a little scary.

“I will miss front-line teaching, particularly being in the classroom and bouncing ideas around with young people, which is the joy of my job. But this challenge is very exciting and certainly better than just retiring gracefully.”

In Sudan, Mr Nicholls will be responsible for visiting 46 schools in one district and Mrs Nicholls will work to promote the education of girls.