Second Master Shortlisted for Tatler's 'Unsung Hero' Award | Epsom College
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Second Master Shortlisted for Tatler’s ‘Unsung Hero’ Award

Tatler has this week revealed its nominations for the 2024 Tatler Schools Award, and we are delighted that our very own Mr Paul Williams has been shortlisted in the ‘Unsung Hero’ category.

Mr Williams has long been a much loved and highly respected member of the College Community, whose wisdom, integrity, and all-round decency, have left a lasting impression on the lives of many pupils and parents.

Paul is also incredibly self-effacing and would undoubtedly blush at such a fuss being made of him. Nevertheless, his reputation has reached the editorial team at Tatler Towers who have recognised all he has done for the College.

Paul was thrust into the limelight earlier this year, following the tragic death of Emma Pattison. Though he had never desired to take the reins at Epsom, and certainly not in such difficult circumstances, he assumed the role of Acting Head with great skill and a steady hand. In the College’s darkest months, Paul’s infinite wisdom, pragmatism and understanding of Epsom College, ensured pupils, staff, parents and the school itself endured, pulled together and ultimately emerged stronger than ever.

But the reason for Paul being rightly recognised as an ‘Unsung Hero’ of UK education, goes back much further that the past few months.

He joined Epsom way back in 1984, as teacher of mathematics and Master in charge of cricket. Paul then became HMM of Fayrer, back when it was a boarding house. This is a role he served for 15 years, before becoming Head of M4 and then stepping into his current office as the College’s Second Master.

One colleague, on hearing of Paul’s nomination, said: “The vast majority of pupils, parents, and staff, have nothing but the utmost admiration for Paul. He mixes experience and wisdom with hard-nosed pragmatism. He is a first-rate Chief of Staff and an all-round Mr Epsom.”

It’s not only colleagues who hold Paul in such high regard, parents also speak affectionately of Epsom’s Second Master:

“Mr Williams works tirelessly behind the scenes and has an impressive knowledge of individual students and their families!”

“Mr Paul Williams epitomises Epsom College; empathetic, experienced, and committed to seeing the school be the best it can be.”

“Mr Paul Williams represents all the best of Epsom and has done for decades, without ever appearing dated.”

“The Second Master is ‘all seeing’ and acts swiftly to address any parental concerns or behaviour issues. Thanks to him, the College has a vibrancy and positivity about it. The fact that teenage pupils are at school for 9-hour days, 6 days a week, and still want to give up their evenings to perform in a play, rehearse for the choir or represent their school in their free time, never ceases to amaze me.”

“I would say, second to none, that Paul Williams is an outstanding school master; very aware of the pupils and their individual needs. A good example is when my two sons met at supper one day. They hugged each other and then parted to eat with their respective friends. Mr. Williams noted this and went to my eldest son to check that my youngest was OK. How incredible that a senior member of staff would spot this small moment and then take time to ensure that there weren’t any issues.”