Ofqual’s chief regulator Glenys Stacey and academy trust bosses Steve Lancashire and Susan Jowett have topped the list of those recognised for services to education in the new year honours.
Ms Stacey (above) and Ms Jowett, the chief executive of the Spencer Academies Trust, will receive damehoods, while Reach2 boss Mr Lancashire will be knighted, as will Jack Petchey, founder of the east London children’s foundation which shares his name and runs speaking competitions in schools.
Sue Baldwin, director of the academies and maintained schools group in the Department for Education, will be named a companion of the order of the bath, which confers the right to use letters ‘CB’ post-nominally instead of a title. The award is given to senior civil servants and military officers.
Ms Stacey, who will leave the exams regulator in February following five years in charge, is known for having marshalled Ofqual’s response to the 2012 GCSE fiasco where grade boundaries were changed dramatically by exam boards midway through the academic year.
Ofqual said the boundaries were originally too easy, but teachers and parents hit out against the change and took the case to High Court. The regulator stood firm despite the mounting criticism and judges dismissed the case – ruling out any unlawful behaviour by Ofqual.
Ms Stacey told Schools Week she was “deeply moved” to be honoured with a damehood, and said she had found “great satisfaction” in serving the public.
Mr Lancashire, the chief executive of Reach2 academy trust and executive headteacher of Hillyfield Academy in east London, has spoken of the “huge privilege” of setting up and running Reach2, as well as a new spin-off academy chain Reach4, of which he is also interim chief executive.
He said: “My passion for learning and education was instilled at a very early age by my parents. They taught me to believe in myself and in the power of education to change lives and bring opportunity.
“I try to bring this belief and passion to the children in our trust. Both trusts operate as a family of academies, and this honour is testament to the hard work and commitment of every single member of that family.”
Mr Petchey said it was “such an honour” to receive a knighthood, and that he was proudest of the recognition it gave to the Jack Petchey Foundation and the young people it supports.
He said: “I always say ‘If you think you can, you can’ whatever your background. Being recognised with this honour proves just that to the youngsters we work with. They can achieve, make positive contributions to society, and they will be satisfied in their lives.”
You can read the full list of those honoured for services to education related to schools in England here.