Coping with changing schools

Paul Faulkner, former CEO of Aston Villa, used sport to overcome being “the new boy” as he changed schools regularly throughout his childhood:

“My father worked in the regional newspaper industry, and as his career progressed our family found ourselves moving around the country from paper to paper, with the consequence that I found myself getting used to moving school and being the new boy on a pretty regular basis. By the time I was 13 I was starting my 6th school, including my 3rd in that particular year, and while the moves were difficult and not without tears as good friends were left behind, looking back the experience definitely instilled in me an acceptance and comfort with change, and the ability to adapt and to quickly get used to new environments and people.

“Sport was certainly one device I used to settle into a new school, be that playing or just talking about it. Sport is a great leveller, and team sports in particular a great way to quickly establish new relationships and friendships. A mix of football, rugby and cricket were constants that helped me to adapt swiftly as much else changed around me.”

We interviewed Paul on the Clever Tykes podcast here. It’s a fascinating story with many examples of adapting in order to thrive. Did you change schools and use novel ways of fitting in to a new environment?