Synopsis: Brian Stimpson is the headmaster of a comprehensive (high) school in England. He sets himself, his staff and pupils very high standards. On the way to a conference at which he is to talk, all manner of disasters strike.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Christopher Morahan
Production: Zubara Films
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min

Right, Orridge,

Popple! Potel!

...cannot but feel deeply humbled.

Five years ago, if I may be

personal for a moment...

a rather overawed headmaster

of a rather obscure, maintained

comprehensive school...


Can you make 3:
30 Monday

or 4:
30 Tuesday?

No, 10:
35 on Thursday

or 12:
10 Friday.

Ah, can't do I'm afraid.

Or we could say 11:10 Friday week.

That's fine for me, whatever suits you.

Don't run!

Sharon Seeds...

...arrived at the annual meeting

for the first time,

amazed to find himself invited

to become one of your very select

handful of additional members.

Come in!

He listened to the headmasters of schools

with great and glorious names...

Come in... great and glorious names...


Eton and Harrow, Winchester

and Westminster.

Am I taking 4H in G3

at 10:
30? they expatiated upon

a variety of weighty matters,

scarcely did our nervous new boy...

open his mouth.

Sorry. This is your thing

with all the posh schools?

Joan said that I'm taking 4H in G3

at 10:

I thought I was taking

Peter Styles is taking 4H in G3

at 10:

Right Ted, 2:

Slay 'em at the conference, Brian.

Tell all those upper-class ponces

we're gonna hang 'em from the lamp post

by their old school ties!

Right, thank you Ted!

Ah, you're taking 4G in H3

at 10:

Oh, God!

They should try having 4G

at Harrow!

Well, that obscure comprehensive school

was none other...

than Thomas Tompion.

And that overawed new boy

was none other than me.

Little did he dream,

within a few short years he would

be standing up here himself

as the very first comprehensive school

headmaster ever...

to become Chairman of

the Headmasters' Conference.


Where do you think

you're going, Clint?

The Guinness Book of Records?

Every day this term so far,

isn't it Clint?

Well don't just stand there, Clint!


And come out from that doorway!

Not you... you!

Yes you, I can see the smoke you fool.

I can see your feet!

Oh, it's you!

Right, now I've got some sad

news for you all...

I'm going to be away today.

I knew you'd be heartbroken!

Right. Now where am I going?

To the University of Norwich

in the fair county of Norfolk.

And why am I going there?

Because that's where this

year's annual meeting

of the Headmasters' Conference

is being held,

and you can all feel rather

proud of yourselves.

Because they don't let just any old headmasters

into the Headmaster's Conference, far from it...

The Headmaster's Conference is

the organisation to which

all the great independent schools of this

country belong, places like Eton and Harrow,

Winchester and Westminster.

The fee-paying schools.

The 'posh' schools that we

all look down our noses at,

and that we'd all send our children to

if only we'd got the money.

They don't usually let in headmasters of

common old garden comprehensive schools,

of schools like this one.

So, why you ask, why did they

let me in?

Well, I'll tell you why.

They let me in

because you and I,

all of us together,

have made Thomas Tompion one of

the best schools in the country.

Right then. But today...

But today is

an extra special occasion,

because today

today I take over as Chairman,

Chairman of the Headmasters' Conference,

and I shall be the first chairman

in the whole of history,

in the whole of history

who is headmaster of an ordinary, common

old garden state comprehensive school.

So it really is one for the

Guinness Book of Records!

Right then! So what am I going to

tell them in my speech this afternoon?

I'm going to tell them how

we did it!

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Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn, FRSL (; born 8 September 1933) is an English playwright and novelist. He is best known as the author of the farce Noises Off and the dramas Copenhagen and Democracy. His novels, such as Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong and Spies, have also been critical and commercial successes, making him one of the handful of writers in the English language to succeed in both drama and prose fiction. He has also written philosophical works, such as The Human Touch: Our Part in the Creation of the Universe (2006). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Clockwise" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Oct. 2021. <>.

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