Mr Nichols retires after 22 years at King's

King's Head of Design Technology, Jez Nichols, is retiring after 22 years of passing down genuine life skills to the next generation. A former Rolls Royce apprentice and engineer, Jez changed direction in his mid-twenties, studying for a Design and Technology degree so he could pursue his vocation.

Now, none of his former pupils would ever say, 'Well I never used any of those skills.’ If you've been in a Jez Nichols class, you’ve learnt how to solve daily tasks and challenges.

An immensely likable enthusiast and communicator, Jez said "I am passionate about teaching pupils to become designers and engineers, making sure they know how things are made and can appreciate the quality of design in anything they might buy in the future."

"It's a subject that pulls together so many different skills. Pupils have to bring their Maths, English and Science but, above all, it's about practical problem solution."

"Though some aspects have stayed the same, for example, how to mark out and how to join materials together, it's a subject that has changed dramatically over my career and is now much less prescriptive, about teaching woodworking and metalworking, but rather setting practical problems and enabling pupils to find solutions."

Originally from Alsager, Jez taught in Bloxham, Solihull and Cheltenham, before relocating to Macclesfield in 2002.  With his wife Claire, also a teacher, he raised two sons, Ruairidh and James, both of whom went to King's, with the former now a political lobbyist and James reading History at Nottingham.

"I have loved working at King’s, especially the new campus. We have fantastic facilities here, the latest technology, airy working spaces and wonderful views and I have to say I no longer have to turn on the forge in the old drafty Kent Block at Cumberland Street just to get some heat."

An outdoors enthusiast, who regularly supervised ski trips and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, Jez and his family will fly out to Australia for Ruairidh's wedding this Christmas, but has no fixed plans apart from to chill.

"Teaching has become very intensive; I have loved every second of my time at King's, but it's been very hard work."

Jez retires from King’s with the well wishes of his colleagues and many hundreds of current and former pupils.