Charles was educated at Westminster School, completing his BSc in Astronomy and Astrophysics at St Andrew’s University. After a short stint in the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell, he joined the Barclays Bank Project Finance Division, where he stayed for three years. In 1990, he moved into his first teaching role at Clifton College until he was headhunted to Westminster School, where he also coached rowing.
In 1997, he took up post as Head of Physics at Marlborough College. After seven years in this role, he became the first Director of the Blackett Observatory, Head of Astronomy and Director of the Extended Project Qualification. He was Vice President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2017 to 2019.
Charles is an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, an Academic Visitor in Astrophysics at Oxford University, an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors and a member of the International Astronomical Union, acting as UK National Astronomy Education Co-ordinator. He is UK Team Leader and organiser for the Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad. Charles is married to Nicola, and has three children, all OMs.