Two college principals are among the figures from further education to be recognised in the New Year's Honours List.
Mark Malcomson, principal of City Lit in London, has been made a CBE for services to adult education, while Bridgwater and Taunton College principal Mike Robbins has been made an OBE for services to further education. Steve Frampton, principal of Portsmouth Sixth Form College, was also made an MBE for services to education.
Professor Mary Dunning, formerly a governor at Tyne Metropolitan College, is also being made an OBE for “services to further and higher education and the community in the North-East of England”, as is the Reverend Jennifer Mullis, assistant director of the further education commercial and legal unit at the Department for Education. She has been recognised in the New Year's Honours List for services to “further education and to the community in Yorkshire”, and previously worked at the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Other well-known individuals in the FE sector who have been recognised include Ken Barrass, former chair of Rotherham and North Nottinghamshire College, Jennifer Foote, company secretary and general counsel at the LTE Group and chair of the National Clerks Network, and Sara Kibel, governor at the Westminster Adult Education Service. They were all made an MBE, along with George Wells, chair of the corporation of Selby College. An admissions officer from Borders College in Scotland was also honoured. Fiona McAllan, who has worked at the college in various posts for over 24 years, was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to education.
Mr Malcomson took up his position at City Lit, Europe’s largest adult education college, in 2011. He was previously director of London Business School and president of the New York Institute of Finance. He teaches American politics at the college, which specialises in offering evening, daytime and weekend courses for adults from across London.
He told TES he was "stunned" when he received the letter notifying him about the CBE. "I didn't see it coming at all. It's very, very pleasing for me and for City Lit, it reflects very well on the college and on the importance of adult education. I hope this will also benefit our students and my colleagues."
Mr Robbins was appointed principal of Bridgwater College in 2012, following the retirement of Fiona McMillan, who he had worked as vice-principal under for more than 15 years. Prior to this, he worked in colleges in Kent before becoming head of the faculty of business, management and humanities at Newham College in London, and in total has worked in the FE sector for 40 years. Earlier this year, he oversaw a merger between Bridgwater College - a winner at the TES FE Awards 2016 - and Somerset College in Taunton.
He said: “It’s a great honour to be recognised in this way and it obviously also reflects all that has been achieved by the college and its staff over a long period. It would not have happened without the support of all those who have worked so hard professionally for the benefit of our students and those who have supported me personally.”
After beginning her career as a nurse, Professor Dunning entered education as a teacher in the field of nursing, progressing to become deputy dean of the school of health, community and education studies at Northumbria University. She was awarded the title of emeritus professor by Northumbria University on her retirement. She has also received a doctorate of civil law from Northumbria University and an honorary doctorate in science from Newcastle University, both for her contribution to nursing education.
The LTE Group's Ms Foote said: “I was surprised to hear the news; I certainly never expected to be receiving an MBE for services to further education when I joined the sector 14 years ago. The sector has grown and diversified so much just since I joined, but the fundamental element, and the reason I moved into the sector, remains the same – to give everyone the opportunity to continued access to education and training.
“I have met so many passionate and dedicated people, not only working at LTE group, but across the whole sector, and I feel humbled to receive this honour.”