Newman University Alumni: Johnathan Smart’s story

Published by Newman University on

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Johnathan Smart studied Physical Education and Sport Sciences here at Newman University many years ago, graduating in 1998. We thought we’d see what he’s been up to since then!
Since leaving Newman University I went straight into schools

I have taught at 4 different primary schools in different parts of the city and in Solihull. I am now Executive Head Teacher of Excelsior Trust. We look after Parkfield, Colmers Farm, Turves Green and Green Meadow Primary Schools.

Studying my degree at Newman University gave me the qualification to start my career, but in a wider sense it also gave me the core knowledge, skills and ability to be a teacher. It was a foot on the ladder to where I am now. Interestingly, many of my PE group are now Heads in Birmingham or further afield. PE is obviously the course to be on.

I absolutely loved my time at Newman – 4 fantastic years

I loved the P.E. part of my course most. The tutors were fantastic. Roger Mace and Bede Reddican were brilliant to learn from but were also really nice people who you almost classed as friends.

Staff support was brilliant

My experience was that staff couldn’t do enough to help. Even if you were going through a rocky patch.

In my spare time I was either playing football or having drinks with mates

For me and most of the PE group, the bar and the sports hall were where we spent most of our time.

Advice to those of you thinking about studying at Newman

I would say go for it. Newman is small and friendly and I feel this is one of its huge benefits. You don’t feel lost like you might in a huge university. It is almost like a family. I lived in halls for 3 out of the 4 years and couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

I have recently been appointed as Executive Head Teacher

I am looking to cement myself in this role, learning all I can about the complexities of running more than one establishment. In future, I would like to take on the role of CEO of a multi-academy trust somewhere in the Midlands area.

Did you study at Newman University? If so, we’d love to hear all about what you’re up to now! Feel free to comment below or send an email to with your story.


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