New year honours: 'All teachers deserve an award'

Tribute comes from one of nine heads appointed an OBE or higher in 2021 honours list, which also sees MBE for Tes editor
30th December 2020, 10:30pm
Amy Gibbons

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New year honours: 'All teachers deserve an award'

https://www.tes.com/magazine/archived/new-year-honours-all-teachers-deserve-award
New Year Honours: 'all Teachers Deserve An Award'

"All teachers should be getting some sort of award, just for getting through the year in one piece."

That's what executive headteacher and soon-to-be OBE Cassie Buchanan told Tes when asked to reflect on an extraordinary year in education.

Ms Buchanan, who comes from three generations of headteachers, is one of nine heads appointed an OBE or higher in 2021's New Year Honours List.

Ann Mroz, the outgoing editor and digital publishing director at Tes, has also been honoured with an MBE for services to education.


Last year: Damehood for MAT leader among New Year Honours

Related: The Tes person of the year 2020

Pandemic: Five ways Covid-19 has made teachers' jobs harder


Speaking to Tes about her achievement, Ms Buchanan, executive head of Charles Dickens Primary School in Southwark, praised the efforts of schools everywhere, arguing that "all teachers should be getting some sort of award, just for getting through the year in one piece".

"It's been a year where we have, the various sort of organisations, have had to step up and change, whether that's teaching schools or research schools or adapting to how I personally support schools," Ms Buchanan said. 

"So it's felt like a year when there hasn't really been the breathing space to think, you know, what next? We've had to do things really quickly.

"So this is why I suppose, getting this in such a year feels, I guess, even more remarkable, because we're trying to sort of adapt and also just do our jobs. Everybody's just trying to do their job, and so trying to do the extra stuff as well has been a bit of a challenge, but I think we've managed it."

She added: "It's just how incredible schools have been, and teachers have been, in adapting to...a more complex job, in a more complex environment."

On learning that she had been made an OBE, Ms Buchanan said that she initially had "a little bit of imposter syndrome", but decided it was a "really lovely thing" - reflecting "the work of not just me but my team, and all of the really talented people I work with".

Also recognised in the 2021 honours list is Tes school awards judge and the creator of the popular CBeebies characters JoJo and Gran Gran, Laura Henry-Allain.

She has spent more than 30 years working in early years, and has been awarded an MBE for services to education.

She said: "I am absolutely delighted to be honoured with an MBE. I was shocked and emotional when I heard the news. I left school at 16 and worked as a clerk typist before starting a college course in Early Years education when I was 19. I knew then that I had found my passion.

"Since then I have dedicated my whole career to working with children, parents and those who work with them. I have gone on to complete more qualifications in education and management and being awarded this MBE, for services to education, is simply remarkable. I dedicate my MBE to my cousin, Junior, who recently lost his battle with cancer."

This year's education honours include...

Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Peter Wanless CB, chief executive officer, NSPCC, and former director at the Department for Education. For services to children, to young people and to the charitable sector.

Companions of the Order of the Bath (CB)

Derek Baker, permanent secretary, Department of Education, Northern Ireland Executive. For public service.

Commanders of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

David Wootton, managing director, Wootton Education, and former headteacher. For services to education. 

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Amanda Bennett, executive principal, Greetland Primary Academy, Calderdale and CEO, Great Heights Academy Trust. For services to education in West Yorkshire.

John Bradshaw, lately, headteacher, London East Alternative Provision. For services to education in London.

Emma Bradshaw, executive principal, Alternative Learning Trust. For services to education in the alternative provision sector.

Cassandra Buchanan, executive headteacher, Charles Dickens Primary School, Southwark, London, and trust leader, The Charter Schools Educational Trust. For services to education.

Joanne Heaton, chief executive officer, Northern Lights Learning Trust, Hartlepool. For services to education in North East England.

Christine Hill, headteacher, Westminster School, Rowley Regis. For services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Giovanni Isingrini, group director and deputy chief executive, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. For services to children in Wales.

Linda Magrath, chief executive officer, Laurus Trust. For services to education in Greater Manchester.

Darryl Morgan, headteacher, Ridgeway School, Farnham. For services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Surrey.

Hunada Nouss, chair, Audit and Risk Committee, Education and Skills Funding Agency. For public service.

Angela O'Brien, primary director, Spencer Academies Trust and former principal of Wyndham Academy. For services to education.

June Palmer, headteacher, Mayfield School, Torquay. For services to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. 

Asiyah Ravat, executive principal, Star Academies. For services to education in Birmingham. 

Dr Patricia Rice, chair, School Teachers' Review Body. For services to education. 

Dr Rowena Shaw. For services to education and to young people.

Janet Sheriff, headteacher and national leader of education, Prince Henry's Grammar School, Otley. For services to education in West Yorkshire.

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