I chose Marwood as it is the surname of the eponymous 'I' character in the film 'Withnail & I' - although (Withnail & I Geek Alert) the character is never referred to by name, and only appears as 'Peter Marwood' in the script. Peter Marwood wasn't available as a Yahoo email address, so I settled on Jack, as it seemed to fit the surname well. So Jack Marwood has been my non-de-plume for the past three years.
It was useful to know that what I wrote and said about education was entirely separate from the school in which I taught, although, as time went on, this became increasingly irrelevant, and I've never written or talked about the specifics of my day to day experience in school.
It became a little odd when I began to meet people at conferences and at educational shindigs, and then when I was invited to speak at various events. It was only then that I began to realise why many people choose their given name as a first name, with a random word as a surname... But, well, having a 'band name' has been fun. Joining a long list of people with pseudonyms seemed perfectly natural: David Bowie, Joe Strummer, Tina Turner, Jack Marwood - Well, hello Wembley!
I've always been open that Jack was a pseudonym, and I've had a policy, if anyone asked, of telling people who I actually am. But all good things must come to an end. I'm about to finish my first book, for one thing, and I'd like to have my name on the cover, if only to make my mum proud. Secondly, I'm embarking on a new career direction come September, leaving the comfort of a steady job in school to take a dip in the world of freelancing, consultancy and general all-round education ninja-dom. The pseudonym has been fun, but its time has come.
So Icing on the Cake will retain the Jack Marwood name, and become "Jack Marwood's Icing on the Cake blog". I'll start writing here again more regularly come September, and it seems sensible to keep the name for old time's sake. I've changed my Twitter name, and kept the @jack_marwood username for now.
As for me, I'm Richard Selfridge – no, really, that is me – and I'll be using my real name for my education work from now on. I'm going to be doing some work for the Driver Youth Trust, which is going to be working with some schools here in Yorkshire, where I'm based. I'm going to be in good company, as I'm joining Nancy Gedge and Jules Daulby, as well as host of good people who work for DYT. I'll also be doing some freelance teaching, and I'm open to any interesting opportunities which might come up alongside the other work I'll be doing. If you think I could help you, do get in touch.
It's going to be strange to say goodbye to my current school at the end of term, and it'll be even more odd to say goodbye to full time education for the first time since 2003. Saying farewell to Jack Marwood will be a little sad too. His final appearance will be at ResearchEd York on Saturday 8th July, when he will officially retire. If you are there, come say hello, or goodbye, as the case may be.
In the meantime, you can find me on Twitter, or contact me via email. But as Richard, not Jack. Still an Education Ninja, mind.