Chris joined the Board of Directors and as the Chair of Governors for Royal School and Royal College Manchester in January 2017.
Chris taught English and Latin in three secondary schools during a career that spanned thirty-nine years. Although he officially retired in August 2015, he still visits his last school regularly, to participate in various musical activities and conduct “mock” university interviews with sixth-formers.
His interest in special needs education can be traced back to six months spent as a volunteer in a primary school in Bedford, before he went to university, but this interest became much more personal when, at the age of one, his son was diagnosed with a complex neurological condition. First-hand experience of the Portage Scheme in Hampton, Middlesex and subsequently of special primary and secondary schools in the North West, combined with greater awareness of the bureaucratic difficulties frequently encountered by parents of disabled children, led to a desire to understand at least some of the issues better and to try to make a contribution by standing for election, initially, as a parent governor at the special primary school attended by his son.
Many years later, several of which have been spent as Chair of Governors, Chris is proud that the school recently received its third successive “Outstanding” judgement from Ofsted, together with accreditation from the National Autistic Society and several other awards. If anything, though, he is even more proud of the adaptability of the staff and their willingness to learn new skills and techniques, for the pupils’ needs are constantly changing.
He has already seen evidence of that same desire to be part of a “learning organization” among the staff at the Seashell Trust. As Chair of Governors he will be completely focused on trying to create the conditions in which the needs of pupils and students can best be met.