The new chief inspector for schools in Wales was himself expelled for spiking his teachers’ cornflake cakes with laxatives.
Owen Evans is to become the new head of Estyn, the Welsh equivalent to Ofsted, tasked with raising educational standards in classrooms across the country early next year.
The 52-year-old’s appointment is a far cry from his rebellious past which included an expulsion from Ysgol Gyfun Gymunedol Penweddig in Aberystwyth.
Then aged 16, Mr Evans was kicked out of the secondary school for giving teachers cakes laced with laxatives.
In an interview with the Western Mail newspaper earlier this year he said the ‘chocolate-related incident’ led to 23 out of 40 teachers missing lessons the next day.
He said that while attempts to discipline him by his father were shaken off like “water off a duck’s back”, the “look of disappointment in my mother’s eyes” caused him to turn his life around.
“Getting expelled was a massive kick up the bottom,” he told the newspaper.
Mr Evans said his decision to join a further education college to finish his studies became the “making of me”.
“If I didn’t turn up the teacher would ring my house and ask where I was and then pick me up. It was partly the shame of being picked up that meant I started going,” he said.
He then enrolled at Swansea University to study economics. After briefly working as a shepherd following his graduation, Mr Evans worked for BT for 10 years developing the company’s broadband strategy before he joined the civil service.
In 2013, Mr Evans was appointed Wales’ director general for education and skills which saw him immediately tasked with managing the merging of Welsh universities.
He was credited with raising educational standards across Wales by 20 per cent in a year after he identified a list of 40 schools, branded the “naughty 40” in need of priority.
Mr Evans was appointed chief executive of S4C, a Welsh language television channel, in October 2017.