Tributes to much-loved headteacher devoted to Luton children

Pat Morgan
Pat Morgan

Tributes have been paid after a former Luton head-teacher who devoted her life to children’s education passed away on October 25.

Patricia Morgan, 77, served as head-teacher at Chapel Street Nursery for nearly 20 years until retiring in 2002.

Pat Morgan encouraged involvement in the school, leading by example

Pat Morgan encouraged involvement in the school, leading by example

Her proud husband, Peter, said: “Pat believed education should be for everyone.

“She always said every child had something to offer, and their own talents, regardless of any disability or their background.”

Forward-thinking Pat was keenly aware of the issues facing Luton people, and also served as a magistrate, sat on the Luton Council of Faiths, and even hosted workshops at her school to help establish Luton Carnival.

Mr Morgan said: “Being a Lutonian, she was always trying to promote the town and its diversity. She was niggled by the negative reactions that get thrown up when people mention Luton, and she felt there were so many positive things about the town that were overlooked.”

Pat got the teaching bug early in life, being the daughter of Dr Sidney Charlesworth who founded the first technical school in the borough.

It was always her intention to work with younger children, and teaching remained her first love on top of the many civic roles she held.

After working at Dallow and Grasmere Nursery Schools, she became head-teacher at Chapel Street Nursery in 1983.

Under her leadership, the school became a hub of community activity, it included a boxing gym which produced a world champion in Billy Schwer, a circus club and workshops to establish Luton Carnival. As that developed, Pat encouraged the involvement of schools and always led by example, each year marshalling the school float in enormous handmade costumes.

Mike McMahon, Head of Community Living at Luton Council, said: “In addition to her life-long and selfless commitment to early education, she will also be remembered as someone who went out of her way to promote Luton and was always a big advocate for events such as carnival which do so much good for the town.”

A statement from Chapel Street Nursery said, “Pat Morgan was passionate about children and early education. She showed this every day in her involvement with children and parents and could always remember the names of children that attended Chapel Street Nursery School. Pat cared deeply about the school and worked tirelessly to ensure it played a key role in the area.

“Not only did Pat’s care extend to the children, she also inspired parents. Some of the staff at Chapel Street started as parents at the school and with Pat’s encouragement have developed themselves professionally.

“Pat Morgan was a positive influence and enriched many children’s early education. She was well respected and will be sorely missed by everyone whose lives she touched.”

Mr Morgan added: “The one thing people always say to me is that she was a lovely lady. It’s a simple expression, but it’s true – she was always smiling, she didn’t have arguments with people, and she would remember children’s names when they spotted her in the street, it didn’t matter how many years had gone by.”

Pat leaves behind husband Peter, children Guy and Zena, and four grandchildren. Her funeral will be held at St Mary’s Parish Church on Friday November 14 at 11am.