Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - John Morgan 1953-2012: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - John Morgan 1953-2012: News

Article excerpt

To his colleagues, John Morgan was always "Tigger". Like A.A. Milne's tiger, the Stockton-on-Tees executive head bounced. And he exuded energy, enthusiasm and a relentless willingness to help pupils learn.

John Morgan was born in June 1953 in the East Riding of Yorkshire. After studying maths at the University of Manchester, he saw teaching as a natural progression: it allowed him to capitalise on his love for his subject and his ease with people. He taught in schools around Stockport and was appointed deputy head of Hull's Wolfreton School in the late 1980s. Then, in 1995, he became head at Conyers School in Stockton-on- Tees.

What pupils recall more than anything else is his constant smile. He was never to be found in his office, but would instead be bounding enthusiastically around school.

He did not shout. Instead, he saw everything as a learning opportunity. When one pupil was sent to his office for misbehaviour, Mr Morgan offered him a mug of hot chocolate. He wanted the boy to discuss and learn from his infractions.

And he could not get exercised about school rules. He had his own way of making a point. "I've never known such a clever student forget that skinny jeans are not Conyers uniform," he told one girl.

His talent was for seeing things from pupils' point of view. When governors suggested erecting a fence around Conyers, he said that he would lead attempts to tunnel out. Any new measures proposed had to be unequivocally in the best interests of pupils. …

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