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Schools of Fish : Finch Memoir Prize Winner 2015 - Alan Sampson

Schools of Fish

Finch Memoir Prize Winner 2015

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A strict headmaster and a troubled student; a father and son … seek reconciliation beyond the schoolroom.

At the beginning of Schools of Fish, Alan Sampson is very much a man bent on success. As a very strict high school principal he was renowned for transforming weak schools into centres of academic and sporting excellence. But the long hours took their toll on his home life. As his marriage ended and his family was torn apart, he was given charge of a troubled city high school on a downward spiral; to make matters worse, in this school was one of the most troublesome students he had ever come across … his own son, Greg.

As Alan strove to find a way to tame his son’s behavioural problems at school and at home, he and Greg battled each other as well as the ingrained obstacles in the education system. Only when they both found the courage to step outside the rules did they find their way through to each other ... and realised that the best education in life can often be found outside the school system.

Alan says, ‘I wrote my story to show how life’s lessons should shape our education system. The individual should shape the system rather than the reverse. Every child needs a champion. This experience has given me a greater understanding and appreciation for the role school and my family have played in making me a better educator and person.’

About the Author

Alan Sampson has worked in the education department in Queensland for 30 years as a teacher, high school principal, Inspector of Schools and Assistant Regional Director. He is the proud father of four children and enjoys spending his spare time surfing, travelling and writing.

Industry Reviews

"This is a book about education in a unique and special context. it scrutinises the role of schools and redefines the meaning of educational success. An inspiring and compelling read." --Ron Miles, former principal of Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design

This is the best book I've ever read! Hands down! MUST READ


Such an impactful book!





Fast moving and informative.Interesting characters with a global message.





Fantastic read with great insights .Never a dull moment.




5.0 3


ISBN: 9781925048452
ISBN-10: 1925048454
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 25th May 2015
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.5 x 15.1  x 1.6
Weight (kg): 0.26