Rosie Phillips
Posted on 10 Dec 2015

Head to Head with Chair of Governors at Countess Wear Community School

Carl Haggerty, Chair of Governors at Countess Wear Community School gives us an insight into why he joined the Governing Board and what it means to him.

Your current title / role and School

Chair of Governors, Countess Wear School

Your day job 

Digital Communications Manager, Devon County Council.

In this role I champion, develop and deliver the councils digital transformation agenda. I also chair the national LocalGov Digital Network which aims to raise standards in the provision of local digital services across the country.

In November 2013 I won the Guardian Public Services Award for Leadership Excellence and for the past two years I have been recognised as one of the Top 100 influencers across Local Government in the LGC 100 power list.

Why did you want to become a Governor and then to Chair of Governors? 

I originally wanted to be a Governor because I naively thought I could affect the day to day running of a school mainly because my two sons attended the school. But soon realised that the role was not about the detail of how the school runs but one which focuses on the strategic direction, vision and accountability of the school. It truly is an opportunity to be part of a team which can really improve the outcomes of young people and that is something to be proud of and more importantly something you have to take seriously. 

The role of school governor is immensely rewarding and I would recommend it to anyone. 

I am very proud to be a governor at Countess Wear Community School and believe passionately in the children, staff and all who support the school to provide the very best learning opportunities so that every child who comes to Countess Wear can 'be everything they can be'. 

I didn't originally have aspirations to be the chair but over the last few years the school has been on such an incredible journey and we now have an outstanding and visionary head teacher that I felt that the time was right to step up and provide collective leadership with our head teacher and help the school on its journey to outstanding.

Who would your top two guests be at a dinner party?

My two guests would be Marco Pierre White (the chef) not because of his ability to cook but for his mentoring and inspiration around food and learning and Sir David Attenborough - I've been a huge fan of his work since I was a child and he is a bit of a hero of mine

What was the last piece of music you listened to?

The album If you wait by London Grammar - but it is often a random selection via a Spotify

What was your favourite and most hated subject when you were at school?

I was a big fan of art and drama at school - I enjoyed the creativity and self expression and my least favourite was French not because I didn't like it but because I would have preferred to have learnt Spanish. 

What is the best thing about your role as Chair?

I guess the best thing about being chair is that I get to support everyone to ensure they can make the biggest impact as a governor they can as well as supporting our head teacher. Also it is a real privilege to be given this position which means I must have the trust of fellow governors which is reassuring.

If you could change one thing about the current education system what would it be?

The challenge we face is that when our children leave education in the next 12-15 years we can't possibly prepare them for the world ahead. Unless we radically rethink and redesign how our education system provides children with meaningful and stimulating learning opportunities that inspire them to fulfill their potential.

A standardised model of education in my view fails to recognise the individuality of each child, school and community. The opportunity to create a system based on a common set of approaches, models, skills and knowledge facilitated by outstanding teaching in outstanding schools which allows children to grow and develop their own talents and skills is surely the way we can best meet the diverse needs of society today and for the future.