Assistant Chief Constable Tony Blaker and Old Cranbrookian visits the school

Cranbrook School students and many from the wider Cranbrook community welcomed senior staff from Kent Police last week, who gave a talk of their own experiences and career opportunities.

First and foremost, Assistant Chief Constable and Old Cranbrookian Tony Blaker, entertained and informed a mixed audience of students, parents and local people with his reflections on “What did school do for me?”. He began with reminiscences about his formative years at Hawkhurst Primary School, before moving on to Angley School (now High Weald) and graduating to Cranbrook School (Webster House) for O-levels and A-levels. Following a spell of service as a student trainee in the Royal Navy, Tony opted to go into the police force where he enjoyed considerable success in the Sussex Police, attaining the role of Head of Surrey and Sussex Operations Command. Tony gave the audience a flavour of his experiences on the beat and of the changing culture of policing over the last thirty years. Most tellingly, he gave accounts of the pressures and logistical issues involved in managing large scale public events in Sussex, such as the Lewes Bonfire, the fracking protests in Balcombe and the Shoreham air crash. In Kent, Tony is the lead senior officer with responsibility for Courts, Criminal Justice Coordination and the Judiciary. He has recently been promoted to Deputy Chief Constable as a result of his success in these roles. All who attended were wonderfully entertained by Tony’s talk. 

Earlier in the day, Year 11 were given fascinating insights and ideas about possible career pathways from Chief Superintendent, Nicola Faulconbridge. All in all, our awareness as a community of the work of the police, the pressures they are under and the exciting opportunities they can offer to A-level and university graduates was hugely improved by these events.