Tristan da Cunha Application Letter



Ms. Ann Biddle

Commercial Officer

Tristan da Cunha

South Atlantic, TDCU 1ZZ


Re: Education Adviser Post

Dear Ms. Biddle,

I am writing to you to apply for the above post. My background is that for the last five years I have been privately tutoring AS and A2 Chemistry and Physics. I specialise in students with complex educational needs. Prior to that I was Senior Tutor at the Department of Chemistry, Imperial College London, where I was head of pastoral care and the entire tutorial system for some 40 academics and 450 undergraduates. It was my responsibility to look after people with various disabilities and keep an eye on their general welfare. During my time there were some complex situations that needed to be handled with sensitivity and maturity. I was involved in science outreach activities with school children and I have a strong passion for teaching. I was a SETNET Science Ambassador. I have a knack of getting through to people. Whilst I was Senior Tutor I developed the teaching abilities of newly appointed staff and helped to develop the teaching and the behaviour of some more senior staff. I am a facilitator by approach which is via example and encouragement. In my consultancy I specialise in team-working and leadership development. I have developed curricula and syllabuses at faculty level.

The wife and I currently live on a working cattle farm and we help out with feeding the animals and the hay harvest. Though close enough to Farnham we have a rural lifestyle. Prior to this we lived in an isolated gamekeeper’s cottage on a country estate for a year. As a child I grew up in expat communities in Mt Isa, Australia and Kabwe, Zambia. Although Tristan da Cunha is a step beyond these in terms of isolation, I may have some inkling of the difficulties. The wife and I both have a “pitch in” attitude. I have travelled widely on business to Europe, USA and Japan. As such I am sensitive to diverse cultural needs.

In terms of my broader usefulness my hands on scientific background means that I can operate and understand complex technical equipment. I have an entrepreneurial streak and am very good at strategy, logistics and planning. I was an active member of the Strategy and Planning Group which manged the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College. I have held responsibility for large budgets both for research and in business. I have familiarity with corporate governance. I am highly organized yet not stressed. I can interact with external institutions such as Peter Symonds, in fact a couple of my tutorial clients have studied there and should I be appointed it would be very easy to visit before heading South. I have been to Cape Town once before and stayed in a guest house in Sun Valley…

Should there be the need I could teach A level science. I am sure that I can assess the ability of students for further education in the UK / Cape Town. I am confident that I can familiarize myself with the intricacies of school curricula and their implementation. I already have experience of four different A level exam boards and their differing syllabuses through my tutoring. Teaching ICT is something I am sure I could do, I am computer literate and have well developed presentation skills e.g. PowerPoint. I can teach Sciences, Geography and Maths to GCSE. The wife has a degree in French and Danish. She is very keen on the idea of teaching languages and aiding reading. Her specialty is careers, being a Careers Adviser by profession. The idea being that both of us would come to Tristan. You would get two for the price of one, so to speak. It strikes me that there may be a number of ways to increase incoming revenue to the island, but without being there they are but guesses. What is attractive to us both is the idea of being an active part of a community which is pretty much self-reliant.

I should say that we have both decided to look for something new and different to us.  Last summer I had a stage II cancer removed along with a part of my colon. I am now back to full health and my latest scans and blood tests were normal showing no recurrence. I am on a yearly CT scan regimen and these could be carried out at Cape Town. This kind of thing can focus the mind and change the priorities in life. I am pretty down to earth despite what my CV might suggest.

The idea of moving to, and working in, Tristan da Cunha is very attractive to us both. We are not prone to idealism and have considered insofar as is possible, what might be involved. Please consider me for this position.

With my very best wishes,


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