Pillar of School community retires

Brentwood School Deputy Head, Mr Nigel Carr, who has been a “great pillar of the School community” for the last 38 years is retiring on Friday.

Over the past four decades, Mr Carr has taught Mathematics and Economics, served as Head of Economics, Housemaster, Senior Master and taken the role of Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Contingent Commander no less than four times.

Headmaster Ian Davies said: “We could not have asked for a more supportive, loyal, kind, considerate and courteous colleague. We wish Nigel a long, happy and healthy retirement.”

However, Mr Carr will not be saying goodbye to Brentwood School completely. Staff and pupils are delighted that he will be returning at the start of the Michaelmas Term and will continue to teach on a part-time basis.

His successor, Mr Jonathan Cohen, is currently Director of Professional Development and a member of the Senior Management Team at Haileybury College, in Hertfordshire. He will join the School as Deputy Head (Staff Development and Co-Curricular) on 1st June. Mr Cohen read Economics at the University of Bath and holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership. He is currently studying for a Doctorate in Education. 

Mr Carr, who hails from Hackney in East London, joined Brentwood School in September 1977 as a Mathematics teacher with some Economics. He had already enjoyed an impressive career at City of London School for Boys, leaving there to take up a place at Queens’ Cambridge to read Economics. At Cambridge he was awarded a Blue for Fencing, and later fenced for his country. For several years he ran Schools’ Fencing in England and managed the England Schools’ Fencing Team.

His lifelong interest in Economics as an academic discipline led to further research and a Master’s Degree under the direction of the famous D. J. Whitehead at the London Institute of Education where, amongst other papers, he wrote about the teaching of the Economics of North Sea Oil.

After ten years at Brentwood, in 1987, Mr Carr became Housemaster of South House, and only four years later, took over the leadership of Hough House boys’ boarding house. He held the Head of Economics position for 11 years from 1982-1993.

He was appointed CCF Contingent Commander, for the first time, in 1989. Mr Davies said: “His selflessness and sense of service to the Cadets, and leadership of his team of officers has resulted in the largest CCF in the country, something he and we take real pride in. He led the Brentwood Town Remembrance Day parade for 24 years.”

A farewell dinner held in Mr Carr’s honour was attended by past and present colleagues including former Headmasters Mr John Evans (1981-1993) and Mr John Kelsall (1993-2004), Mr Davies told the illustrious gathering: “All of us in this room who have had the privilege of working with Nigel, as I have now for 11 years, have found him a thoughtful, intelligent colleague who anticipates concerns and brings creative and constructive solutions to the table.  He is confident, articulate and consultative and a great role model for younger teachers who value his mentoring, advice and guidance.

“A meticulous planner, thoroughly professional at all times, nothing escapes his all-seeing eye. I have been fortunate to benefit from all these things, and it is a mark of the universal respect and admiration in which Nigel is held, that you have come this evening to give him a resounding send off.”

At the dinner Mr Carr thanked his colleagues, past and present, for their support and expressed his best wishes for the future of the School, its pupils and staff.