Support Richard Beach
Born in North West London and educated in Bayswater, Camden and Cambridge, I qualified as a teacher in 1992 and spent 8 years teaching in state secondary schools in London and Hertfordshire. At the turn of the millennium, I changed career to explore the world of e-commerce and software development, which led me to Project Management and Consultancy. My interest and involvement in education has been maintained through my own children, serving as a School Governor at their primary school. With my children now going through public examinations, I am keenly aware of the way that changes in assessment and qualifications are affecting real families and life chances.
I have always been politically active. At university, my main interest outside of my studies was debating; I represented Cambridge at inter-varsity competitions (winning one!) and internationally too. This led to a tour of Eastern Europe meeting with student debating societies in the very early days of democracy in these countries in 1990 when the Soviet Union still existed and parliamentary democracy was something to be learned. As a teacher, I served as Union representative and subsequently the chair of the Staff Association, representing colleagues and protecting their rights as fellow professionals in sometimes challenging circumstances.
Since changing career, my focus has been more on my family and my local community. I ran Children’s Services on Saturday mornings and festivals at Radlett Synagogue for 11 years, which I found incredibly rewarding and enjoyable. I have also discovered social media as a way of engaging with people on community and broader issues – when approached in good faith and with a constructive approach seeking to find points of commonality rather than just ‘winning’, Facebook and Twitter can be a positive force bringing people together to build communities that can do real good in the real world.
Both professionally and in my spare time, I am fascinated and enthused by the potential of new technologies to change society – technology itself is neither good nor evil; it’s up to us to unlock its potential to find how it can help us, and how the UK can lead the charge in the technologies of the future. I’m also a geek - and unafraid to say so. I live in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire with my wonderful (and long-suffering) wife Karen and our 3 remarkable children.