Schools

School leaders and governors named in King’s birthday honours

Forty-eight people with links to England's school system named in honours list

Forty-eight people with links to England's school system named in honours list

Academy trust chief executives, school headteachers and governors have been recognised in the King’s birthday honours.

The headteacher of a Ukrainian Saturday school in London which has supported hundreds of refugees since Russia’s invasion is among those to receive medals in the honours, the first handed out under King Charles III.

Forty-eight people with links to England’s school system will get gongs for their services to education, including five CBEs, 13 OBEs, 26 MBEs and four BEMs.

Mark Ducker
Mark Ducker

Receiving the CBE are Mark Ducker, former boss of STEP Academy Trust, Judith Ragan, former head of Queensmill School in Hammersmith and Nigel Genders, chief education officer at the Church of England.

Simon Lebus, who served as interim chief regualtor at Ofqual in 2021, will also receive the medal, as will Mary Ryan, founder of Cyber Girls First.

Ducker said he had been “enormously grateful to receive such a prestigious honour, in recognition for services to education”.

Nigel Genders
Nigel Genders

“Throughout my career I have been fortunate to work with some truly amazing colleagues, all sharing an unswerving determination to make a positive difference, regardless of challenge and context. To all of them – hopefully, they know who they are – thank you.”

‘Honoured and delighted’

Genders said he was “honoured and delighted to receive this award which is really a tribute to all the incredible people I have been blessed to work alongside: educators and leaders around the country and my amazing team”.

Ragan, who received the OBE in 2010 and now serves as a trustee of The Queensmill Trust, was nominated for services to children with special educational needs.

Jude Ragan
Jude Ragan

This year, there are fourteen honours for trust chief executives and executive heads, seven for headteachers, two for deputies or assistant heads, one for a teacher, two for civil servants, seven for governors and trustees and fifteen for those in the third and charity sectors.

Among the executive leaders recognised are Simon Flowers, executive principal of Carr Manor Community School in Leeds, Tina Harvey, executive head of Perseid School in Merton and Stephen Hughes, CEO of Education Impact Academy Trust in Birmingham.

They will all receive the OBE.

Flowers said the award was “recognition of our commitment to providing opportunities for all”.

‘Incredibly lucky to work with fabulous people’

John Camp
John Camp

John Camp, chief executive of the Compass Partnership of Schools in south London and Essex, and incoming president of school leaders’ union ASCL, will also receive the OBE.

He said he was “incredibly lucky to work with a fabulous team of people…who make my work so rewarding. They are simply superb and it is because of them and their tireless dedication to children that I have received this honour. 

“I dedicate this honour to my mum. She passed away this year and I know she would have been very proud.”

Also receiving the OBE is Graham Quinn, chief executive of New Bridge Multi Academy Trust and SSAT’s national SEND ambassador.

Graham Quinn
Graham Quinn

He said it had “been my absolute privilege to serve our communities in the north west and across the country”.

“This award is dedicated to the amazing colleagues, governors and trustees I have worked with throughout my career.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the most incredible children and young people who have made coming to work every day a real joy. They are the one’s equally deserving of this accolade.”

Headteachers and trust directors honoured

Seven headteachers have been recognised, including Gillian Carver of St Ann’s School in Hanwell, Caroline Evans of Parks Primary in Leicester and Lynne Haines of Greenvale School in Lewisham.

They will all receive the MBE, along with Kathryn Harper-Quinn, head of Hounslow Heath Infant and Nursery School, Mary Harrison of St Francis Primary in Morley and Rizwana Mahmood-Ahmed, from Carlton junior and Infants School in Dewsbury.

Georgina Masters
Georgina Masters

Inna Hryhorovych, head of St Mary’s Ukrainian School in London will also receive the MBE for “services to education and to the Ukrainian community in the UK”.

Georgina Masters, assistant director of HISP Multi-Academy Trust in Hampshire, will receive the OBE.

She said she was “humbled, proud and incredibly grateful to have been awarded this honour in recognition of the many years I have spent supporting those on the front line of education”. 

“Throughout my career I have been blessed to work with many phenomenal leaders, all striving to improve educational outcomes for young children. 

“This would not be possible without the team around them and to anyone who works tirelessly to make a difference to young children’s lives, then this award is also for you.”

Alan Meyrick, deputy director of the Teaching Regulation Agency, will also get the OBE.

Ukrainian head awarded MBE speaks of ‘huge honour’

Inna Hryhorovych moved to the UK 13 years ago, having worked as a university lecturer at Chernivtsi university.

She was supported by “great people, true role models” as she retrained to teach in England, and admits her “resilience has been tested quite a few times but it was worth it”.

“Sometimes, it feels as if life was preparing me to be able to withstand the last 15 months.”

St Mary’s is a supplementary Saturday school that provides extra tuition for Ukrainian children. It raises funds to provide places for those whose families cannot afford to pay.

Since Russia’s invasion, the school has “gradually mastered a new role of becoming a sanctuary for children who have been saved from the war but are still far from feeling secure in a big world”.

“[They are] far from their home, friends, favourite toys, photo memories on the walls, members of their family. Confusion, despair and tiny spark of fading hope in the eyes of those children fill me and my team with a strive to act, to help, to return them their childhood back.”

She said her MBE was a “huge honour” and “really unexpected recognition which squeezed my heart when I opened the envelope”.

“Fifteen recent months of my life have gone in front of my eyes in a moment and a feeling of warmth cuddled me. Are we really making a difference? Is it noticeable? Every morning in the last 15 months, I would wake up with a feeling I have not done enough, that there are more children to help, that better impact can be made.

“This profession has stolen my heart many years ago and I cannot express how grateful I am for this honourable recognition from the country that has become my second home and today, kindly homes 170,000 other Ukrainians.”

You can download our handy PDF list of the winners linked to England’s schools here. If you think we’ve missed someone out, email news@schoolsweek.co.uk.

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  1. Only one teacher among them – that’s a shame – it’s teachers who do the hard everyday work with kids, overburdened and drained, as resources and staff are scarse in schools, and challenges, such as children behaviour growing.