Ursula Newton (née Farrell) attended Bolton School from 1976 to 1983 and is now a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Having read Maths at university, Ursula joined Price Waterhouse in Windsor and subsequently moved to London, where she was one of the founders of the Capital Markets Group working with Companies who are looking to list or undertake transaction on the equity capital markets.
What is your connection to Bolton School? Were any other members of your family here?
I joined Girls’ Division in 1976 and left in 1983. My family didn’t have any prior connection to Bolton School, but subsequently my brother joined the Boys’ Division in 1988. I sat exams for Bury Girls’, Canon Slade and Bolton School and received offers for scholarship places for all of them; no one else that I knew was going to Bolton so I chose it on the basis of wanting to be different!
What is your fondest Bolton School memory?
When I think back to my school days, I remember the Carol Service; it was very special. The atmosphere, the decorations in the Hall – it was such a big, whole school event attended by all the pupils, as well as parents. I generally have very fond memories and had a very enjoyable time.
Did any member of teaching staff particularly inspire you while you were at school?
Margaret Dickinson was my form teacher in my first year of senior school and sticks in the mind as she was the first teacher I encountered and was also my Maths tutor up to A Level. I was also keen on Sport and Games so I remember Pam Johnson fondly as well. In all honesty, there weren’t teachers who were not inspiring; they all knew their subjects and were passionate about them.
What do you feel your experience at Bolton School has given to you personally?
I think what it showed me was that there are no boundaries you cannot overcome, and that you should never allow anyone to impose limitations on you. School instilled in us the belief that if you set your mind to doing something, who or what you are, is not a constraining factor. There are no reasons why you should not achieve it.
What is the best career advice you can give to Bolton School pupils today?
Do something you enjoy. Go to university and get as good as a degree as possible in the subject you love, rather than gaining a mediocre degree in the subject you think you “should” be studying.
What do you think about Bolton School’s 100 Campaign aim to re-establish genuine open access through its bursary fund?
I think it is a no brainer – it is the standard that School has always set for itself and it is the right thing to be doing.