A Bradford head teacher has backed moves to recruit bankers to the teaching profession as the financial turmoil continues – after making the same transition himself.

The Training and Development Agency for Schools is targeting financial workers facing job uncertainty. The agency says the credit crunch has already boosted inquiries – with a 13 per cent increase since last year in the number of people registering an interest.

Richard Hughes, 46, took up his first headship at the new £26 million Buttershaw Business and Enterprise College in September.

But in the mid-1980s, Mr Hughes began his working life in a very different environment – as a high-flying management trainee for a top bank in the City of London.

Mr Hughes said: “I did philosophy, politics and economics at Oxford and most of the people on my course wanted jobs in the City – the main ambition was to get the BMW and the flat. I was caught up in that.”

However, after starting work in the world of high finance, Mr Hughes also volunteered to work at a youth club in Kilburn, London, three evenings a week – a role he was much more suited to.

He said: “For me, working with the young people in the evening was both more satisfying and more successful on every level.”

Inspired by that satisfaction, Mr Hughes made the decision to change careers and, after a year’s training, began teaching economics at Newcastle’s Royal Grammar School.

Mr Hughes said one of the main contrasts between the two professions lay in the way they measured success.

“In the bank you measure success by your own success but in teaching you measure it by the success of others.

“I measure it by the success of my students – that’s a very different way of looking at things. In teaching you can get huge job satisfaction by helping others.”

Mr Hughes has now spent more than 20 years in the profession.

“I have never regretted it even when I went through some tough times in schools – I would recommend it to anybody,” he said.

“But I am not knocking banking – for some people banking is right.”