News Archive

Autumn 2009

‘Manger Tom’ Makes a Magical Evening

Mill Hill were proud to welcome Terry Jones to the School as guest narrator in a performance of Director of Music, Richard Allain’s Christmas Cantata, ‘Manger Tom’. Choirs from Devonshire House, Lyndhurst House and Belmont schools, together with the Cantiamo Girls’ Choir from Mill Hill performed their own selected pieces, as well as Richard’s ‘Manger Tom’ to a packed Large. It was a magical evening with many wonderful performances – the perfect way to get us into the festive mood. There was a retiring collection in support of Teens United which raised £1,000.

Click here for a copy of the programme.

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House Drama Festival 2009

The House Drama Festival sprang back to life with a vengeance this term. Four weeks of intense rehearsal saw over 180 students of all ages creating ten plays on the theme of ‘Appearance and Reality’. Many of the shows were self-written and although not mandatory, this showed how much talent for writing, directing and acting that there is in the school. All kinds of drama were on show, ranging from Ridgeway’s magnificent pantomimic ‘Just Another Fairytale’ involving the vast majority of the house (written by Jun Yung Hwang and Joseph Spiro) to Priestley’s sharply satirical ‘The Credit Bunch’ involving a talented team of eleven actors (written by Aidan Kelly and Oliver Bobroff).

The ten plays were performed over three nights in mid-November, with the finalists, Ridgeway, Priestley and McClure, going through to the Grand Final. McClure House eventually won with an intense and slickly rehearsed half hour production of ‘DNA’, directed by Amy Green, Dan Rogers and Jake Davis. It was a worthy winner and all eleven actors, as well as cast and crew, are to be warmly congratulated.

However, it is the taking part that counts and all participants can be very proud of their efforts this year. So too can the audiences of over 400 each night, who cheered their teams on but also wholly respected the need for quiet attention during the actual shows. Our thanks go to Dr Armstrong and Mr Corbett for judging the Final and we look forward to the next contest in two years’ time.

David Proudlock
Head of Drama

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New Boarding Section Goes Live on Website


As Mill Hill’s Director of Boarding says: “When pupils board at Mill Hill School – they don’t just join a School – they become part of an extended family,” and our boarders agree: “The moment I walked into my House it felt like home,” “People were so friendly that it made me feel confident,” “From the first day, you become involved in activities and each member of the School places a value on your opinion,” “Birthdays are celebrated like at home,” “There is a lively atmosphere in Ridgeway, but mixed with the special combination of discipline, respect, tolerance and pride”.

The new section has been designed to introduce our Boarding philosophy, and to give an insight into the history and character of each House, along with a profile of the House Master or Mistress. Information for prospective pupils and their parents includes schedules and timetables, as well as a comprehensive selection of frequently asked questions. Our parents’ and pupils’ Handbook can be downloaded for more detailed information.

Ridgeway House

Current boarders will enjoy (and we hope contribute to!) the Boarders’ News section which will feature House successes and events. As well as academic and sporting events, boarders enjoy an action-packed schedule of activities from ice-skating at Hampton Court to an evening of DVDs and Krispy Kremes in House, so we look forward to reports and photos.

Come and visit the new section – explore the Houses, see pictures of the rooms, read about some notable early Boarders, check out the FAQs, download the Handbook and hear what the pupils have to say.

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RSC Chemistry Week

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Chemistry Week is a themed week of events held every two years to promote a positive image of chemistry and increase the public understanding of the importance of chemical science in our everyday lives.

This year’s theme was Food. Activities were loosely organised with this theme in mind. Chemistry Ambassadors (all 52 Year 12 and 13 A level pupils) helped to promote the themes and assist with the activities organised throughout The Foundation; Mill Hill, Belmont and Grimsdell.

The week started off with themed assemblies and helium balloons being released into the MHS Chemistry department labs and corridors. Other activities that took place included exciting chromatography using smarties and rocket experiments to Year 1 and 2 pupils at Grimsdell and experimental work at Belmont involving the making of coloured slime, chromatography of black ink and more rockets! Again, our Chemistry ambassadors were on hand to assist year 5 pupils.

noisy, smoky bangs and flashes

Mill Hill welcomed all 80 Year 8 pupils from Belmont into its Chemistry department for a noisy, smoky bangs and flashes demonstration and a chance to make a crystal garden. All visitors received a pen or key ring to mark their visit.

A variety of lectures were also organised including the Dean of UCL’s MAPS department Professor Richard Catlow ‘How atoms fit together’ and competitions took place such as the inter-House lab coat competition to mark the 175th birth anniversary of Dimiti Mendellev the creator of the iconic the Periodic Table.

Jeffrey Watson the Head of MHS Chemistry department is grateful to all the teachers and pupils who so willingly gave up their time to participate and make the week such a fun and positive learning experience.

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Mill Hill Tennis In Top 8

Mill Hill School is within the top eight tennis schools in the country following the boys’ performance in the Quarter Finals of the AEGON YEAR 10 Schools Competition.

Playing on the new indoor courts in the bubble at Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn, the team of Michael Cohen (Captain), Oliver Warren, Henry Goode and Toby Cohen came up against Woodbridge School first. This was a really close match with the score being 2-2 after the singles rubbers and 3-3 after the doubles rubbers. The match was finally decided on an exciting 10 point penalty tie break (played by Michael and Toby) with the boys eventually winning 10-8. The team then went onto play Reeds School, one of the top tennis schools in the country and favourites to win the competition. Despite not scoring any rubbers, the boys put up a really good fight with some truly magnificent tennis.

Undoubtedly man of the match was Toby Cohen for his consistent performance throughout the day. As player number 4 in the team he certainly rose to the challenge in the penalty tie break against Woodbridge School with some solid net play. Reaching the Quarter Final stages is the furthest a Mill Hill team has ever achieved in this competition. The event started in the Summer Term with more than 600 schools from all over the UK taking part. All credit to the boys who put on such a fine performance and represented the School in true Millhillian sporting manner.

Sarah Ward
Director of Tennis

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Classics Trip To Greece

Early on the 17th of October a group of 24 keen Classics aficionados gathered at scenic Mill Hill to leave for this year’s week long junket to Greece. After a short flight to Athens we arrived at the hotel in the late afternoon. We stayed at a number of different places in Greece: Athens, Delphi, Olympia and Tolon.

The highlights of our stay in Athens were definitely the visits to the Acropolis including the fabulous Parthenon, one of the most famous structures of all time, as well as the recently opened Acropolis Museum. These visits on the trip tied in particularly well with the Upper Sixth’s current topics of Greek Art and Architecture, and finally seeing many of the kore and kourai ‘in the flesh’ after only looking at them in text-books was incredible. Of particular note in Delphi was the chance to visit the site of the most famous oracle of the Greek world.

In Olympia, members of the lower school who have been studying the ancient Olympics were awe inspired (apparently) at the site of the first Olympic Games. Indeed Mill Hill’s own version of the sprint event at the Olympics was held with Aidan Kelly from the L6th triumphing narrowly. The final days stay in Tolon gave the opportunity for many excursions to various locations nearby, notably the site of ancient Mycenae and the so-called ‘Tomb of Agamemnon’ as well as the Venetian fort of Nafplio. The location of the hotel on the beach meant many pleasant walks through the nearby town as well as activities including a rather competitive ‘friendly’ game of Football. All in all the trip was more than worthwhile, hugely interesting, enabling students to learn and cement links with fellow students from other schools, and most of all…enjoyable.

Jonathan Bertulis-Fernandes (U6 Priestley)

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National Anti-Bullying Week

National Anti-Bullying Week Logo

The week commencing 16th November is National Anti-Bullying Week. During the preceding week, members of Cedars House have presented assemblies in Chapel on themes that support the anti-bullying message and at Mill Hill we will be having a “Blue Day” on Friday 20th November during which pupils can pay a minimum of £2 to wear blue items of clothing (blue is the colour of anti-bullying initiatives). All money collected will be sent to appropriate charities. All other anti-bullying activities have been put back a few weeks until Mill Hill’s own Anti-Bullying Week which this academic year will take place during week commencing 11th January. Amongst other things, members of the Anti-Bullying and Mentors’ Council will deliver assemblies that week in Chapel on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, blue cakes will be made and sold in aid of charity and all Houses will be invited to prepare displays as part of an inter-House competition.

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House Cross Country Relaunched

Jack Perry-Williams broke his own record on the 3.5 mile course.

More than 350 Mill Hill boys and girls ran for their Houses in the weeks either side of half term for the revamped House Cross Country Events. There were some amazing achievements, not the least of which was so many pupils out running and seeing 130 boys and girls walk down to Burton Hole Lane for the new start points of the Senior Girls’ and Boys’ courses. Jack Perry-Williams (Ridgeway) broke his own record for the 3.5 mile Senior boys course and has another year to try to get that time under 20 minutes.

The whole of the Fourth Form ran this year with the team trophy going to McClure. The boys’ individual winner was Pierce Mitchell (Mc) and the girls’ individual winner was Ella Duthie (also Mc).

All of the Remove initially ran a race before half term but, due to exceptional circumstances this had to be rerun with 95 runners after half term, and the team trophy was won by Atkinson. The boys’ winner was Gabriel Evans (M) and the girls’ winner was Naomi Kendal (W).

Annalise Kingsley won the Senior Girls individual race.

The Senior Boys (V Form upwards) ran the tough 3.5 mile course over the Totteridge Valley for the second year running with the team trophy won by Murray and as mentioned Jack Perry-Williams (R) winning the individual race. The Senior Girls ran a new 2.1 mile course over the Totteridge Valley with School House winning the team trophy and Annalise Kingsley (BB) winning the individual race.

School House, consistently in the top three, has been awarded the inaugural House Cross Country shield.

School House was awarded the House Cross Country shield.

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Impressions Online

The latest edition of our art and creative writing compilation – recently published – is now also presented online as a turn-a-page publication. More than 40 pieces are featured in this showcase of some of the most exciting work produced by Millhillians from the Art and English departments.

Click through to view.

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Senior Girls Are Borough Champions

Congratulations to the Senior Girls Netball team who took the trophy as Borough Champions. Although not a netball season, the girls traditionally enter this tournament and this year sailed through the group stages, winning all their matches thanks to some excellent defending by Amy Green and Lienna Mustoe and accurate shooting by Katie Newton and Georgie Logan. High scoring victories resulted, placing them top of their group.

However, in the later stages they had to battle hard for their eventual win. A closely fought semi final against Woodhouse resulted in a 2-2 draw at half time, but then Mill Hill stepped up the pace with some silky smooth passing between Layken Senior and Nicole Harvey to create opportunities in the circle for the shooters making the final score 6-4 to Mill Hill.

Senior Girls Netball Team

The final against Ashmole School proved to be a particularly exciting but nerve-racking game. It began with Mill Hill in total control, but Ashmole responded straight away, and the game continued in this vein all the way through. Lienna Mustoe worked hard as goal keeper and managed to deflect many shots which were on target, but the score 6-6 at the final whistle reflected the closeness of the two teams. Extra time began, Mill Hill scored, and it was all over – Mill Hill 7, Ashmole 6.

Well done to everyone who played, especially Lienna Mustoe and Nicole Harvey who made their debut on the 1st team. Lienna Mustoe was also voted “player of the tournament”, congratulations!

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Half Term Rugby Tour

A group of twenty U15 boys accompanied by Mr Gregory, Mr Woodrow and Mr Luke went on a six-day, three-match rugby tour of the north of England during half-term. Arrival in York was followed immediately by a match against York Rugby club, and Mill Hill won comfortably 36-0. The boys then enjoyed a trip to the Leeds Carnegie vs Parma in the European Challenge Cup, followed by a move to Barnard Castle where they were hosted by local pupils and their parents. A trip to Durham and a training session preceded the second game, and in a scrappy affair in the ever-blustery North Pennines Mill Hill ran out victors again, by 31 points to 5.

A group of twenty U15 boys

A coach journey down to a beautiful youth hostel in the Peak District allowed us to be up bright and early for a trip to Alton Towers – thoroughly enjoyed by all – and from there we travelled to Stourbridge to be hosted by our final school, Old Swinford Hospital. They are a formidable rugby school, and a 27-7 defeat by them was to our credit, in that we played our best rugby of the tour, and kept at bay at least a couple of pupils with international aspirations. The boys were impeccably behaved throughout, and were a credit to the School. Gabriel Evans was elected Player of the Tour, and Andre Cotter Top Tourist.

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Air Cadets Gliding Scholarship

This summer I was lucky enough to spend the last week of the holidays at RAF Halton, completing my Air Cadets Gliding Scholarship. The 10 day course took place at Aylesbury military base; I was one of 12 students who had opted for the course through either their CCF or ATC squadrons.

The first night on the base was particularly nerve-wracking, as we were briefed on our strict daily routine whilst still trying to learn each other’s names! A typical day at the airfield started with a crew briefing, usually given by the Sergeant. Normal information given out would be the condition of our runway and the daily circuit plan, plus emergency options for turning back due to engine failure. After this, we would be out cleaning the aircraft canopies, or taking the mobile air traffic control tower out to its position on the airfield. After the day was over, it was time to push the aircraft back into the hangar, wash them all down and head back to the base for bed.

Rosie Welch

If I had thought the daily routine was hard work, it was nothing compared to the actual flying! Each Vigilant tutor has a wingspan of over 50 feet; one of the most challenging things was keeping the aircraft in balance through buffeting winds. I managed to fit in at least two hours flying each day, which saw my confidence soar both in the air and on the ground.

By the end of the course, I couldn’t believe how far I’d come. I had managed to complete eight hours of glider training and achieve my blue wings, all in the space of ten days! My time at RAF Halton was one of the happiest of my life, and I would encourage anyone to seize this opportunity.

Rosie Welch (Weymouth)

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Greenworks: A Sustainable Success Story

Sixth Form Common Room

For the next in the Mill Hill Lecture Series, we are delighted to welcome Colin Crooks with “Greenworks: A Sustainable Success Story” on Tuesday November 3rd. Winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2008, Colin’s company gives new life to used office furniture and provides employment opportunities for disadvantaged people. Please note earlier start time: The lecture will start promptly at 6.30pm (refreshments available from 6.15pm), preceded by an official opening at 5.30pm of the new Sixth Form Common Room which has been part-furnished by furniture supplied by Greenworks.

Click here to see an interactive panorama of the new Sixth Form Common Room.

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Millhillienne Wins Silver Medal

Amy Green in action Amy Green

Amy Green has returned from the 2009 Maccabiah Games with a silver medal for Junior Netball (Under 18s). Selected for the 12-girl Maccabi Team GB squad after two rounds of trials – Amy suffered an early set-back when she tore ankle ligaments, and after intense physio she decided to opt for a surgical repair in February this year. The long recovery meant that Amy was unable to train until the end of May, six weeks prior to the actual Games.

The competition is a round-robin tournament, and Team GB began their assault on the title with a magnificent performance beating Israel 34-13, only suffering defeats against the mighty Aussies – the worthy champions – in both round robin matches and ultimately the final. Amy played in every match – and considering her unfortunate preparation for the games, showed a fine return to form. And the bonus was that, along with the rest of the squad, she was able to return home wearing a much-coveted silver medal – the best achievement ever in Junior British netball.

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Mill Hill School Magazine 2008-9

The latest Mill Hill School magazine, just published, gives an overview of the year’s events – we’ve published it in turn-a-page format so it can be viewed instantly online from anywhere in the world. Click through to view.

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10th October Open Morning

School building

A warm welcome awaits prospective pupils and their families at our Foundation Open Morning on Saturday 10th October. All three Foundation Schools – Grimsdell (pre-preparatory), Belmont (preparatory) and Mill Hill – will be open: Grimsdell from 10.30-12.30 and Belmont and Mill Hill between 9.30am and 12 noon. The Headmaster’s talk is at 10.15 and 11.15. No appointments are necessary – please come and meet Senior Academic staff and tour the Schools. Parking will be signposted for each School from The Ridgeway.

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Take a Virtual Tour Round Mill Hill

Mill Hill mirrorball

Take a stroll around the School and the local environment with our new photo panoramas and slideshow tour. The specially commissioned interactive panoramas offer you the opportunity to explore in and around the School grounds and buildings, giving you a 360° view around 9 School locations including Top Terrace, the Quad and the contrasting – yet equally spectacular – interiors of the Chapel and the Favell Building.

Our slideshow tour is designed to give you a flavour of the unique setting of the three Schools of the Foundation – just a few miles from central London and yet surrounded by countryside, woodlands, parks and villages. It was photographed on a summer’s day, and everything you see is within a 10 minute walk of our front door.

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Foundation Day 2009

On the Master's Lawn - Belmont

The Quad from the Favell Building

Around 2,000 pupils, staff, parents, Old Millhillians and other guests enjoyed a Foundation Day bathed in beautiful sunshine. Following the traditional chapel service, prizes were awarded by Guest of Honour, Sir Tony Brenton. Sir Tony’s excellent address, dealing with his time as Ambassador to Russia and the end of the Cold War, was warmly received by pupils, staff and parents alike. Following the formality of prize giving, it was time for all to enjoy the sunshine, visit the many activities and displays on offer, and watch the 1st XV extend this year’s unbeaten run with a splendid 27-0 victory over The Leys.

Guests of Honour

Click here for a list of prizewinners and here for the Headmaster’s Foundation Day Report.

Mill Hill first XV

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Millhillian Wins National Steeplechase

Talented athlete Jack Perry-Williams recently won the National Junior Final 2,000m Steeple Chase held at Moorways Stadium, Derby. Jack’s time of 6 mins 21 secs means he is currently the second fastest Under-17 in the country. As a result of his recent excellent performance, the Lower Sixth Former is one of 16 athletes selected to represent GB in the 2010 European Juniors Event, to be held in St Petersburg, Russia.

Jack Perry-Williams

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Perfect Game!

As we settled into a new term at Ridgeway House, our annual bowling trip to Hollywood Bowl in Finchley was eagerly anticipated. The mild weather lent a pleasant backdrop to the two fun-filled, and in some cases, fiercely competitive games; everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves with James Alculumbre and Yasin Mohamad bowling sensationally and scoring well over a hundred each. The bowling was a great chance for everyone in Ridgeway to socialise and for the old pupils of Ridgeway to warmly welcome the new.

Upon return to Ridgeway House, we had a delicious American themed feast of burgers, hot dogs, pizzas and nachos; but the highlight was the gigantic chocolate fountain, with strawberries and marshmallows, plus the ubiquitous Krispy Kremes. Many thanks to Miss Farrant, Joe and Matron for a fantastic evening!

Rory Harris (Ridgeway)

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European Week of Languages

European Day of Languages poster detail

Mill Hill’s 7th annual language week programme includes quizzes, films and a treasure hunt, all events designed to celebrate language and cultural diversity.

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Boarders’ Barbecue

As the new School year began and a fresh-faced batch of students from all corners of the globe joined the boarding community, a welcome barbecue was held in the beautiful setting of the walled Crick Garden on Friday night. The fine feast of burgers, hot dogs, salads, strawberries and ice cream, was provided by Mike Gibson and his expert catering team; thank you! The occasion provided a wonderful opportunity for pupils, both new and old and across all different age groups, from all three boarding Houses to get to know each other. Luckily the weather was perfect, sunny and bright, with a slight breeze, and spirits were correspondingly high. An ideal start to what promises to be another fantastic year for the boarders!

Charlie Williams, Head of House, Ridgeway

Boarders at the barbecue

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More Record-breaking Results

This year’s GCSE results have, once again, proved to be the School’s best ever, with 54% of entries being graded at A* or A. The results compare to a figure of 51% last year and 45% in 2007. This improvement is more than three times the national average and is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of our pupils and teachers.

Dr Dominic Luckett said “I am delighted that this year’s results are so good, not least because of the opportunities they now open up to our pupils. It is wonderful to see their efforts being so richly rewarded.”

Special mention should be made of Kunal Walia and Jack Weller who were both awarded 10 A* grades. A further 25 pupils achieved 9 A*/A grades, an exceptional achievement.

Of those candidates in the Removes who took their French GCSE this year, 97% achieved grades A* or A.

These results follow our excellent A level results which improved on the record standards set in 2008, with over 70% of A levels being graded A or B. 23 candidates achieved 3 or more grade As. This represents a 35% improvement on the 2008 statistics and is, in itself, a splendid achievement.

Samantha Davis and Sayyid Said are to be congratulated on qualifying for their places at Cambridge University to read Veterinary Science and Economics respectively.

AS results matched last year’s record figures, with 58% of exams graded A/B. Fuller details of university destinations will be posted on here on 9 September.

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Golfing Success

Chris Alexander with his trophy for coming 2nd individually in the handicap comp at the Shire Trophy.

The Mill Hill golfers ended the year on a high finishing 2nd at The Shire Trophy. This was a great result as they beat the likes of Millfield, Loretto, Canford, Bedford and many of the other top schools in the UK. The team was James Ellis (Weymouth), Chris Alexander (Atkinson) and Josh Leader (Weymouth). This is the Golf team’s best achievement to date in a national competition. Chris was also runner up in the Nett competition on the day. Not to be outdone, Mill Hill ‘B’ Charlie Lahyani, Elliot Gold and Eddie Amery (all from Cedars) won the ISGA Plate Trophy beating Forest in the final. Adam Rossington also from Cedars played in the rounds up to the final. This completed the ‘double’ after Mill Hill ‘A’ won the overall competition.

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Important News: 2010-11 Entry

The process for 13+ applications has been modified for the 2010-11 entry. Due to unprecedented demand this year for entry to the Remove (Year 10), a limited number of places will be available for candidates in 2010-11. Click here for the Admissions Procedure. If you are interested in a place at either 13+ or 14+, contact the Admissions office by email or phone on 020 8959 1221.

The process for 16+ candidates is unchanged – we recommend early applications for those interested in entry in 2010-11.

For Boarding applicants, a visit to the Boarding Houses is an essential part of the application process. Please do email the Admissions department or phone on 020 8959 1221 to make an appointment with Mrs Lindsay Farrant, the Director of Boarding.

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Vice-Chancellor of Leicester University Visits Mill Hill

Professor Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of Leicester University, visited the School on 24 June. He addressed the Lower Sixth on both the subject of Leicester University and on how to choose the right university. He then met with Housemasters, Housemistresses and Heads of Department to discuss UCAS. As well as being Vice Chancellor of Leicester University, he is also Chairman of UCAS and gave us some important advice and information. Robert Burgess is Chair of the Higher Education Academy, the Research Information Network, the UUK/Guild HE Teacher Education Advisory Group and the ESRC/Funding Council’s Teaching and Learning Research Programme. He is a member of the British Library Board and an Academician of the Academy of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences. He is currently chairing the UUK/Guild HE implementation group on the Higher Education Achievement Report and Degree Classifications on which he has produced three reports.

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