CRAIG Walker’s dad played professional football for Wolverhampton Wanderers so it’s no surprise that he has carved out a sporting future for himself – he is head of PE at Tudor Grange Academy in Solihull.
He teaches a variety of sports, (he admits his favourites are rugby and cricket), so he needs a variety of kit to cover indoor and outdoor activities and all weathers – which takes quite a chunk of his salary.
“I need a new pair of trainers every year and that costs £80 alone,” says Craig. “There’s also tracksuit bottoms, polo shirts and all-weather gear. It takes a considerable amount from my pocket.”
So he was delighted to spot a friend’s Facebook link to www.teachertaxrebate.co.uk and has claimed back nearly £140 in union fees and sportswear.
The rebate came in especially useful as his wife recently decided to go it alone and set up her own beauty therapy business working from home. The couple used the rebate money for a short break in Cornwall with their two-year-old daughter.
“We love Cornwall and spend a lot of time there with my wife’s family near Falmouth. It normally involves trips to the beach – my daughter’s crazy for the beach! And there are farm visits too.
“The rebate feels like a bonus. I think I’m quite financially naïve in terms of tax but when I saw my friend’s link I had a look at it out of curiosity. The process was really smooth and ridiculously easy. It was no hassle at all. It was very obvious and clear what to do.”
Craig has now recommended the website to his colleagues at Tudor Grange, which has 1,500 pupils and is nationally acclaimed for its results – not just academically but in sport, too. Earlier in the summer, Craig’s Under-15 girls’ cricket team made it to the Lady Taverners’ national finals at Lords, having won the county title at Edgbaston and the regional title at Trent Bridge. They finished fourth in the national finals.
“They were fantastic,” says a proud Craig, who was also delighted when the Academy’s Under-14 boys won the Birmingham Cup in a final played at Villa Park.
As well as the traditional sports, Craig has also seen more post-Olympics activities emerging, especially handball and cycling – former Academy pupil Danielle Cahn recently enjoyed success at the world junior championships.
As well as his dad’s sporting prowess, Craig’s teachers at Droitwich High School also helped set him on his teaching career path. “Droitwich had a great provision for sport and this gave me lots of opportunities,” he says. “I had great teachers who supported me and I had opportunities to do coaching too, so this was a logical path for me. I’ve pretty much known what I wanted to do since the age of 14.”
We wish Craig and all the sports teams at Tudor Grange Academy all the best for the coming school year.