A chat with head of Northease Manor, Sussex

Northease Manor head Carmen Harvey-Browne would like to have taught Shakespeare and might have been a nurse if she hadn't started teaching...

Interview with Northease Manor head Carmen Harvey-Browne

If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would have done? A nurse, because I was very tempted to stay working in the hospital where I had a summer job, prior to going to university.

Who would you most like to have as a pupil, if you could pick anyone?William Shakespeare, if only to be able to say: “I taught him English!”

Was there a dinner you couldn’t stand when you were at school? Liver because it was always dried up and served with cabbage and lumpy potatoes.

What was your favourite lesson? Was there ever one you wish you could have missed?English, which is why I went on to study it at university. The one I wished I could have missed would be physics as it never made any sense to me.

So, your Desert Island Disc … Which record would you want with you if you were marooned on a desert island? Bizet’s Carmen. I have seen itso many times that I feel a great affinity to it.Do you have a favourite current artist or song? Yes, James Morrison, whom I saw recently at Wembley. My favourite song would have to be Broken Strings.

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If you were on the television show Room 101, what would you want to see gone from this world? Bureaucracy, red tape and political correctness gone mad.

Is there a television programme that you make sure you never miss? Prison Break.

What is your favourite film of all time and why?Mary Poppins. The film deals with a fantasy world that children believe in, while at the same time Mary Poppins makes the adults in the film realise and face up to the important things in life, such as family and what children really need.

If you were to have a meal held in your honour with one space left at the table, who would you choose?My husband as without him, no special occasion would have any value.

How do you relax away from work?Cooking, reading, watching football and walking my West Highland Terrier, Charlie.

If you were prime minister for one day, what’s the first thing you’d do?I would take education out of the government’s control.

What is special about your school?Many of the children who come to us have only experienced failure and frustration in an academic setting, leading to low self-esteem and lack of confidence. Northease Manor’s caring and nurturing environment builds their self-esteem and confidence so that they believe in themselves, thereby creating achievers out of non-achievers.

Northease Manor at Lewes is a school for potentially able children with specific learning difficulties:http://www.northease.co.uk/

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