LOCAL author Oliver Gray has added a new string to his bow.

He is best-known for books on the local music scene and foreign travel but how now written about education.

Mr Gray, who lives in Twyford, has lifted the lid on his experiences from school and university to more recently working in education publishing. In between he worked in a German school and for more than 20 years as a language teacher at Henry Beaufort School.

He taught German and French at the comprehensive in Harestock and recounts the years of the 1970s and 1980s before the Government imposed regularly changing national curriculums, standards and targets.

Detention is full of anecdotes and stories including one of how he let down his head of department Therese Evans, now a senior city councillor and former Mayor of Winchester.

Mr Gray had been invited to a meal at her house but realised he was double booked with another engagement, and so cancelled at short notice.

"Therese was absolutely incandescent with rage and didn't speak to me for weeks afterwards. I have a very vivid memory of her wailing in the staff room in front of all the colleagues, 'But we've defrosted four very expensive steaks! What am I going to do with them? Feed them to the dog?'"

The book is part-dedicated to Henry Beaufort's head and deputy head in the 1970s and 80s Bill Hubert and Roy Bone, both now dead.

After Mr Hubert retired, Mr Bone was overlooked and a new head was appointed. Mr Gray writes: "We teachers all knew the writing was on the wall from the very first meeting under the new Head, during which he lectured us about what he perceived as our complacency. We were all working in a school that had a lovely atmosphere, very high standards and superb results, and I, even after all those years was still in the mindset of German schools, where the general attitude is, "Don't fix what doesn't need fixing".

Detention: Cautionary tales from the world of education, published this month by Hyde-based Sarsen Press.