Clare Mee

Deputy Director of Prep

I’ve been a teacher for 21 years and at The Royal School for the last ten. Working within a compassionate team really allows people to develop and take risks, now I'm definitely less like the slightly haphazard teacher I was when I started. Organisation is key! I spent ten years in the TA as a troop commander (essentially the same as being a primary teacher but the pupils are a bit older, and the lessons include weapons training and assault courses!)

As a child and while I was in the TA, I was lucky to travel a great deal and take part in some exciting adventurous training – lots of sailing, skiing and watersports. While I was on maternity leave, I rediscovered a personal love of learning and did my Masters in English, Publishing and Creative Writing. I love a challenge, although a lockdown with three young children probably wasn’t on my wish list. With the support of an amazing team and a stubborn trait that not only would we do it, but we’d do it well, I was proud to be shortlisted for the UL Inspirational Teacher of the Year Award last year. I also took up running during that time to keep me mentally healthy and it’s something that it is still important to me.

Alongside the day job, I am a governor at Fernhurst Primary School and I also belong to a mentor programme that supports women getting back into the workplace after maternity leave. I am passionate about equality, be it through education or the workplace.

What work experiences led you to the role you are in today?

My only ambition on leaving school was to see the world and have a brilliant adventure but I needed to fund it, so I trained as an English Language teacher and started teaching English overseas to adults and children. I discovered that not only did I enjoy it, but I wasn’t too bad at it. I’ve only worked in two other schools and have always been involved in raising standards in reading and writing. My oldest son was the first to join the Royal, and as soon as he was settled in the daycare, I knew I wanted in! Ten years later, and two more children, I am thrilled to be part of the team taking the prep school into the future. It’s an exciting time to become deputy head; I’m looking forward to working with Dr Alexander (meetings while we run on the common?!) and seeing the children learning in a new and engaging environment.

What’s the most exciting project you’re working on right now? What makes it so interesting?

I’ve just finished a year-long United Learning Reading Project which looked at standards across the key areas within reading and raised the profile of ‘balance’. It was fantastic to get to know and to work with colleagues across UL and to have time to critically appraise our provision in the prep school. Reading is key to getting children off to a strong start with their education. With the arrival of our personal devices, we’ll be looking at our current curriculum to ensure reading stays at the centre of the learning. Technology is exciting but keeping classic fiction, as well as relevant authors, alongside it is key. Reading is my passion, so it was a bit of a bus man’s holiday!    

What do you love most about your job and why?

I’m a people person: I love being with the children, and the staff at the prep school are also very special. My top moments usually involve a child doing an incredible piece of writing or rushing to tell me about an amazing author they’ve discovered. I could talk about books all day. 

Who inspires you?

Someone I affectionately refer to as ‘Crazy Jaz’.  She travels around the world as a keynote speaker, she’s an author, a resilience ninja and a positive disruptor. Jaz embodies the idea of bravery and the willingness to be defined by what you’ve tried even if you fail, rather than by what you could have done. Ask any prep school child about being a chocolate hobnob, it came from Jaz!

What single item would you take on a deserted island?

A harpoon so I could catch fish. I reckon I'm a dab hand at survival.

What is a fun fact no one knows about you?

I’ve sailed across the Atlantic Ocean on a 64’ Challenger yacht. We sailed from the Canaries to Rio de Janeiro, and for the majority of the trip the closest land was 2 miles below us. 

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

I probably wouldn’t say no to spending a day on a yacht somewhere exciting like the dalmatian coast, as long as no-one was asking me for snacks!

What # describe your personality best?




Describe The Royal School in 3 words




Your #FutureReady Top Tip?

Develop and hone your social skills – being able to walk into any room and strike up a conversation with strangers will definitely come in handy at some point in your life!