rochester independent college
The RIC Maths Shed is visualised here by former student Leighton Noyes, best known for illustrating the Gargoylz series of children’s books for Random House.


Rather than having one Headteacher, RIC is run collegiately by three Co Principals. The founder is Maths teacher Brian Pain. He is joined by Management teacher Pauline Bailey and English and Film teacher Alistair Brownlow. The three Principals all teach, act as Personal Tutors and university admissions advisors in the sixth form and talk to students, staff and parents across the College on a daily basis.

Brian PainSenior Principal Brian Pain studied Maths at Durham and Architecture at Newcastle. After teaching sums in London he sailed the RIC Thames barge, The Lady of the Lea, down the Medway school location spotting and bought our first lovely listed building, 25 Star Hill. He founded what was then known locally as Rochester Tutors with fellow Maths teacher Simon de Belder in 1984. Brian and his team continue to teach Maths, Further Maths, Statistics and STEP papers to keen and talented students from all around the world in a salubrious shed at the heart of our award winning wildlife garden which has attracted national media attention and is illustrated by a former student above. Read an article from ‘The Independent’ newspaper here and a piece from the Independent Schools Council here. Brian’s high achieving students win coveted places at top tier universities each year. Three won places at Trinity College, Cambridge in 2012.

Pauline Bailey first joined RIC as an A level student in 1985. She returned to the college in 1989 after working for the Inland Revenue as a Revenue Executive. Pauline has an MA and Post Graduate Diploma in Management Studies and is also Head of Boarding, overseeing the academic progress and welfare of our international students. She also co ordinates our growing programme of Management Studies. RIC’s 2010 Ofsted boarding inspection noted that the College’s residential provision was run by “an effective and creative Head of Boarding.”

alistair brownlow Alistair Brownlow arrived at RIC in 1997 after teaching English in Russia and Romania. He has a First Class degree from St Andrews and an MPhil with Distinction from Glasgow. As well as growing a department which won two Good Schools Guide Awards in 2011 for the best A level English Literature results of any UK independent school Alistair oversaw the start up of the Lower School, allowing RIC to evolve from a successful sixth form tutorial college into a growing secondary school for children from the age of 11. Alistair is often one of the first members of staff prospective students and their parents meet at interview.

“The senior management team is effective in promoting the aims of the college, to give students a happily distinctive, fulfilling, enjoyable and successful experience. This outcome is reflected in the students’ academic and other achievements and in the high standard of their personal development.”
isi 2012
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“Rochester Independent College stands out as a notable ‘alternative’ exception for its informal ethos and relaxed learning environment, though rigorous teaching and a strong focus on preparation for assessment, recognised in a recent outstanding Ofsted report, suggest that it might be better characterised as akin to a successful Swedish Free School.”  
adam smith institute report, 2011
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