Jill Milner


Headmistress, Walthamstow Hall

What was your favourite subject at school and why?

My favourite subject at school, by far, was English. I've always loved reading and have been fascinated by the power of words, either in text or on the stage, to transport you to another place and/or time. Being able to study literature always seemed more like pleasure than work, and as I was not a particularly diligent pupil, until I reached the Sixth Form (where I learned better!), English had a strong appeal.

Did you always want to be a teacher?

If not, what other jobs did you consider? I didn't always want to be a teacher, although by my final year at Oxford I knew I wanted to enter the profession to share my passion for learning with others. At various points along the way I had considered research, law and working in the civil service.

What is your favourite day in the school calendar?

The Inter House Performing Arts competition for all the Senior girls, run by the Sixth Form House Captains is always amazing. The atmosphere and standards of teamwork, alongside the girls' courage and creativity, always bowl me over.

Which school teacher, would you say had the greatest effect on your early life?

Without a doubt, Miss Scott, my A level English teacher had a profound influence on my future life. She expected a huge amount from us all in terms of independent study and standard of work, but also gave us permission to think for ourselves, and shape our ideas in robust discussion in class. Lessons were hard work, unpredictable and fascinating!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

When I am not in school, normally Walthamstow Hall, or at the Schools at Somerhill and Holmewood House where I am privileged to be a Governor, I like to spend time with my husband Rupert and our three children. Fortunately they all share my enthusiasm for the theatre! My eldest daughter got married this spring, so I have spent a fair bit of 2016 helping with wedding planning. After a fantastic wedding day in April, I can now spend more time walking and going on adventures abroad.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

My favourite holiday destination is St Agnes in the Scilly Isles.

What is your greatest achievement?

My greatest personal achievement would be my family, but professionally I am extremely proud of my fourteen years at Walthamstow Hall. It is an utter joy to watch pupils progress through the school, and beyond, and to share in all that they achieve along the way. With over 650 girls there are achievements to celebrate every day.

Tell us one interesting fact about yourself that your pupils would be surprised to know!

I'm a big fan of Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad.

Walthamstow Hall, Holly Bush Lane, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 3UL 01732 451334 www.walthamstow-hall.co.uk