Carol Morgan obituary

My mother, Carol Morgan, who has died aged 78 from cancer, was a headteacher and a believer in the transformative power of education.

Born to Rose (nee Wood) and Harold Hayes, a pattern maker, in Salford, Carol excelled academically and passed her 11-plus with the second highest marks in the city. Her teachers at Pendleton high school, where she became head girl and a top hockey player, identified her as “university material” – almost unimaginable for someone from her background. But she gained a place to study history at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, in 1960, armed with a collection of Elvis records.

It was at Oxford that she met my father, Andy Morgan, a fellow student whom she first saw playing rugby for the university and who went on to play for Wales. They married in 1967 in his college chapel, and set off on a six-week honeymoon driving their new VW Beetle down the length of Europe to Greece, returning via the then Yugoslavia, where they drank Riesling in a state hotel with no running water.

Teaching was Carol’s vocation. After Oxford she went to King’s College London to do her training, then taught in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and London before she and Andy moved to Cornwall in 1970.

Andy worked in local government, eventually becoming assistant chief executive of Cornwall county council, while Carol, after various teaching jobs and a break to have her three daughters, in 1985 joined Truro high school.

In the 1990s she became a formidable headteacher of its prep school. She was an inspirational teacher – knowledgable, funny and irreverent.

Carol became an unofficial mentor, tutor, “bonus great-aunt”, and surrogate mother and grandmother to so many young people, shepherding them through crises and guiding them towards what and who they could become.

In retirement, among many other interests, she volunteered at the St Agnes museum, where she ran its Twitter account in the persona of the star exhibit – a stuffed leatherback turtle. Carol was a natural at social media.

She was a lifelong Manchester City fan, and lived to see their glory days return, although she was too nervous to watch their matches live.

Carol is survived by Andy, her daughters, Emily and Jessica and me, her grandchildren, Rosa and Dylan, and her brother, Harold.

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