Past pupil with top Government role returns to Pool Academy

A top government official and former student returned to his roots to visit students at Pool Academy.

John Curnow, Chief Economist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, arrived at the school this week (JULY 3) to speak to youngsters about his role.

Mr Curnow talked about his life at the Academy and the path he took to get to where he is today.

Pool Academy Students after having a workshop with John Curnow

Pool Academy Students after having a workshop with John Curnow

He then led workshops with Year 9 and Year 10 to demonstrate economics.

Mr Curnow said: “I really enjoyed coming back to Pool Academy. It has changed massively.

“It’s really nice to be back here after 25 years.

“It was great to meet the students and talk to them. They are a nice bunch and they had some really good questions.”

Dylan Sara, from Year 9, said: “It was a good session with Mr Curnow. I didn’t know anything about Economics before but now I feel like I know a little more.”

Beth Johns, form Year 9, said: “It was nice to learn about things we can do when we leave school.”

Zelma Hill, Pool Academy’s Principal, said: "It was a pleasure to welcome John Curnow back to Pool Academy.

"We want students to appreciate that the world is their oyster and they can do anything.

"People who have attended Pool Academy have gone on to do some great things."

Mr Curnow attended Pool Academy, or Pool School as it was known then, from September 1987 after attending Four Lanes School. Once he completed his A Levels in Redruth, he went on to get his first degree from the University of Exeter and an MSc in Economics from the University of Birmingham.

Speaking about his time at Pool School he said: “I enjoyed lots of things here. I loved sport but also Maths and Geography. I made a load of life-long friends at school and had many teachers who inspired my interest in government, economics and how the country is run.”

He told students that in life you are often facing the  ‘unknown’ and need to recognise that things go wrong sometimes. He recommended persevering, maintaining a positive attitude and felt that there was the right job out there for everyone.

Mr Curnow took on the role as Chief Economist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in September 2016.

Before his current role he worked as Economics Director at the independent healthcare regulator, Monitor, as well as a range of economics and strategy roles in the health sector and in central Government, including working at HM Treasury, DfT, DCLG and, earlier in his career, environmental tax and appraisal issues.

Mr Curnow now lives in Hertfordshire and works in London.

Phil Jones