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Introduction by the Academic Director

Introduction by the Academic Director

Tony Wagner, Director for Education at the influential US-based Asia Society, argues that seven core skills are needed to:

  1. Secure and keep a good job
  2. Remain an effective continuous lifelong learner and
  3. Be an active participant in local, national and global society.

I paraphrase the seven core skills as:

  1. A capacity and willingness for continuous improvement;
  2. Collaboration in various networks, where differences have to be respected. This is especially vital because many modern companies encourage a culture of leadership by influence, rather than the traditional command and control structure. Here the ability to engage others through clear communication skills and the introduction of compelling ideas will be essential;
  3. Ability to demonstrate ingenuity, innovation and entrepreneurialism - i.e. lots of ideas and flowing initiative;
  4. Agility and adaptability - many modern companies and other organisations deliberately and regularly restructure, to force re-skilling and discourage complacency;
  5. Effective oral and written communication - it is a constant complaint of employers and universities that this is lacking. Notably, individuals should be able to write with a clear sense of ‘voice’;
  6. The ability to gain access to and analyse information rapidly and judiciously - particularly in an age of information overload and perpetual distraction;
  7. Curiosity and imagination - a genuine desire to read and think beyond usual areas of interest and strength.

We emphasise that boys will leave here and emerge as men who:

  • Sell to the world
  • Buy from the world
  • Work for transnational organisations
  • Compete with people from all over the world for jobs and markets
  • Work with people from all over the world within the same organisations and joint ventures with other organisations - ‘global work teams’ etc
  • Will be in positions to help to solve global issues which shall affect them more than their parents and teachers!

Everything we do in the academic curriculum is designed to prepare boys for these realities. Yet most of all, we aim to encourage the idea of the Renaissance Man – someone who loves study for its own sake and is excited by the connections which can be made between different experiences and areas of knowledge.

Stephen Rathbone
Academic Director


The Richard Morgan Library

The obvious place for any boy wanting to see the connections between subjects and immerse himself in knowledge and ideas, is in our spacious and comfortable Richard Morgan Library. Radley is fortunate to have a superbly stocked and very user-friendly facility. Run by the accessible and knowledgeable library team, boys are able to gain access to thousands of books and other printed material (including musical scores and archival material), films, CDs and a vast range of electronic resources. There is an ongoing programme of events to encourage enjoyment of literature and wider reading, as well as the deliberate fostering of a warm and hospitable environment for boys of all ages and character types. 

Library Resources


Stephen Rathbone
Stephen Rathbone
Academic Director
I studied History at Brasenose College, Oxford, and International Relations in the War Studies Department, King's College, London. Before coming to Radley, I worked at Haileybury College. At Radley, I have been Head of the Community Action Programme (leading trips to Romania and India), Head of History and Tutor of A Social. As Academic Director, I am responsible for all the aspects of academic life in the school, ranging from management of teaching departments, to universities and exams, but I also hold an exciting brief regarding the provision of carefully researched advice for the Warden and Council regarding future academic strategy. I thoroughly enjoy preparing Radleians for the manifold opportunities and challenges presented by a globalised economy and the ongoing technological revolution. When I am not dealing with senior management issues, I still teach half a timetable and continue to love the cut and thrust of History as a rigorous intellectual discipline. My hobbies do not involve the usual panoply of sporting activities, but in my case involve vermin control, logging and the collection of vintage agricultural machinery.
Roger Shaw
Roger Shaw
Senior Master, Head of Science
I started my teaching career at Radley and after a stint as Head of Mathematics at the King's School in Chester I returned. I am the Senior Master responsible for the database, reports, the calendar, the new website, publications, policy documents, inspections and the timetable. Previously I have run a Social, been Head of Exams and in charge of Community Partnerships, organising many projects in Romania and India. I am an inspector for the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
Simon Barlass
Simon Barlass
Coordinator of Teaching and Learning
I am a graduate of Durham University where I studied French, Spanish and Russian at St. Chad’s College. I joined the Common Room at Radley in 1992 and have been Head of French since 2001. I believe very passionately in the importance of learning languages, in the civilising benefits they can bring and in the way they encourage boys to consider aspects of their lives that will allow them to grow as fulfilled human beings, as well as successful exam candidates. I enjoy teaching 19th century texts and try to include references to French works of art, music and general culture whenever possible in my lessons while maintaining an emphasis on grammatical precision and authentic pronunciation.
Anne Muhlberg
Anne Muhlberg
Head of Library, Master I/C of Sailing, F Social Sub-Tutor
I have been Head of Library since January 2014, having qualified at Aberystwyth University and worked in independent school libraries for twelve exciting years previously. Apart from running the Library, I am Master i/c of Sailing and am the F Social Residential Sub-Tutor.
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