Marigold had originally trained (and worked) as a social worker but
when she needed to return to work in the mid 1970s, she chose to teach.
She continued to teach, part-time for a long time because the children
were younger, and later full-time, until she retired from priory School,
Lewes a few years ago.
Because I had a French degree there was a job going at Varndean. I didn't do a PGCE - in those days you could go in with a specialist subject and the adviser would come and visit you in your classroom over a couple of years and after thatI got my..certificate. I can honestly say that the social work training that I did was a better preparation for teaching than any teacher training course would have been.
How Marigold lost her job at Varndean
I worked part time for a long time and as a result of that- there was a new head at Varndean and she was appalling, Mrs Smithers and I lost my job at Varndean because of her. Every year children there used to do a public speaking contest and this particular year Mrs Smithers decides that for the amusement of the assembled children the staff would do a public speaking contest. So I said if I'm going to speak I'm not going to choose something funny because it's so very forced; I'm going to talk about CND. Well, Mrs Smithers had already told the children they weren't to wear badges. They knew I was the source of the badges and they used to wear them under their lapels in the playground- very naughty. I wrote the speech and Jonathon and Mim listened to me and corrected me. (this was 79 or 80) Jonathon was about 16 and Mim 15. So I did this thing and there were 700 children there. They were all silent and I knew they were all listening and knew I really cared. At the end I can remember saying to them It's not just this: I don't want you ever listening uncritically to your teachers, parents or to any adult. You must think for yourselves, its so important. I saw Mrs Smithers looking at me across the room and I knew I'd done it now. And in fact I had because at half term she said 'I'm sorry I can only offer you 4 hours next academic year'. I said 'I expect they're all on separate days, aren't they?' I just stood up and said I would have to be in touch with my union. In fact, the County had to offer me an equivalent job because I'd been working so long in that job. So she had a good way of getting rid of me BECAUSE I was part time