Where Are You Now?

Paul Walton

Paul Walton

BSc Information Technology 2001

Paul Walton started his journey into education and leadership more than 20 years ago. Since leaving the University of Sunderland in 2001, he has followed his passion in education and has worked in five international schools. 

He is currently the Principal at the British International School of Ljubljana in Slovenia. The School has recently achieved an 'Outstanding' school inspection report, additionally this was graded outstanding in every category.  

Commenting on the recent award, Paul said: “I am very fortunate to work with a group of passionate educators each day, committed to giving their all so that the students can enjoy fantastic learning experiences.  

“My greatest achievement has been to lead the team that has recently received an ‘Outstanding’ rating overall as a school and outstanding in every category. This was from the British Schools Overseas (BSO) Inspection team and this report sits proudly on the UK Department for Education website. To move the school to this standard in two and half years, during a pandemic and with other challenges, has been the most rewarding moment of my teaching career.” 

As a Principal, Paul is responsible for the safety of everyone on site, day to day running of the school and providing the highest-quality education possible.  

He said: “It is a very busy, exciting, and rewarding role, and one that I thoroughly enjoy. It is a privilege to work at an ‘Outstanding’ school, to see real progress towards our long-term vision as a team, and most of all, to see our students develop, learn and grow.” 

Talking about his biggest challenge, Paul said: “Supporting our staff, students and parents through the pandemic. From online lessons, technology, and the unknown of the lockdowns, this has been the most difficult hurdle to overcome. However, I believe that with the help and support of the strong team we have at school, we are heading in the right direction.” 

Paul was initially attracted to the University of Sunderland as he was very interested in studying IT and was very impressed with the new facilities at the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s (around 1997). 

“I am passionate about Computer Science and was very impressed with the new facilities and investment I saw at the time,” he explained. “Being born in Durham, near family and friends, this made this even move appealing. I thoroughly enjoyed the course as it was very interesting, a spread of various units and a great balance overall.” 

He continued: “All the staff in the campus were great, very patient, understanding, and helpful.  During this time, I was positively influenced by the constant support and encouragement I received.  I learned a great deal during my time at the University, both academically and also about what I wanted to do moving forward.” 

Paul’s advice to recent graduates entering the job market is to work hard, listen, absorb as much knowledge as possible from those around you and be committed to your personal goals. 

Talking about his future plans, Paul concluded: “I will remain working in education.  I’ve enjoyed living and working in schools in five different countries, and I might find a new challenge around the world somewhere down the line but at the moment I am very happy, excited and thrilled to be part of such a wonderful school. I very much appreciate the team around me, the staff are fantastic and living in Slovenia is a fabulous experience.”

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