One of Britain’s most dynamic emerging entrepreneurs – Paul Rowlett, the CEO and founder of EverythingBranded.co.uk, will be appearing in the first episode of a new four-part series on Channel 4.
Called ‘The Secret Teacher’, the series starts on Thursday 8th August at 9pm, when Paul – the first of four of four successful business owners – all of whom struggled at school, goes undercover at Haileybury Turnford School in Cheshunt, Herts to give failing students a helping hand.
Ex-serviceman Paul, who just 9 years ago, faced homelessness following the repossession of his home, features in the inaugural programme as a support teacher. With the exception of three members of staff, none of the students or staff had any idea that Paul is one of Britain’s most trailblazing tycoons.
Prior to setting up Everything Branded, Paul had lost his previous two sales positions and, with no hope of re-employment, was forced to take stock of his life. With a modest loan and a laptop he set up a successful promotional goods and branding business which is now a multi-million pound global company.
Paul immersed himself fully in the challenge as a school support worker; tackling the nerves that come with stepping into a classroom, whilst identifying which of the students he wanted to help before revealing his true identity in the life-changing finale.
The series puts a spotlight on the increasing challenges faced by the education system. As a result of the growing funding crisis in UK, schools like Haileybury Turnford are under unmanageable pressure, with class sizes increasing, staff numbers falling, and budgets stretched to the point where the worst hit schools can’t afford even basic equipment.
Talking about his role in the TV series, Paul says: “My school days weren’t happy ones. I came from a broken home and I wasn’t academic. I was destined to fail. I left at 16 with only one GCSE.
“However, returning to school, has been a positive experience for me. It was fantastic getting to know the kids, but heart-breaking hearing about their problems both in and out of school.
“It is clear that things have never been tougher in our schools. I am full of admiration for Haileybury Turnford School. In spite of the enormous challenges they face day after day, the staff there are totally committed to the kids.
“Above all else, I am glad that I have been able to make a difference by getting to know the staff and the pupils there and in turn, providing much needed financial help to the school and those pupils who really stood out for me.”
The Secret Teacher is feel-good TV at its best, it shows the immense rewards that come from believing in pupils’ innate potential and delivers a heart-stopping final reveal.