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Dame Patricia tops the chart of FE's honours

Accolades abound for committed contributions to the sector

Accolades abound for committed contributions to the sector

Former Association of Colleges president Patricia Bacon headed a strong contingent of representatives from further education who were recognised in the 2011 New Year Honours list.

The principal of St Helens College was made a dame in recognition of her services to FE at local and national levels.

She has been principal at the college for more than eight years, during which time it has expanded to take on 15,000 students.

Ms Bacon, also chairman of Lifelong Learning UK, told The TES that she regarded her time at the helm of the AoC, of which she is still a board member, in 200910 as the pinnacle of her career.

"I was stunned when I got the letter," she said. "It was the hardest thing to keep it to myself until it was officially announced.

"My time as president of the AoC was an amazing experience, and it was a great honour to represent FE at the highest level of government.

"I am passionately committed to FE. Colleges make a huge contribution to society, and it's great to see the sector get such recognition."

Richard Parker, who recently retired as principal of Chichester College, was made a CBE, along with Ali Hadawi, Diane Roberts and Ambrose Smith, principals of Southend Adult Community College, Brockenhurst College in Hampshire and Aquinas Sixth Form College in Stockport, respectively.

Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group of colleges, said: "The orders reflect the passion and commitment of the recipients in championing learning for all age groups and acknowledge the significance of further education in the improvement of society in general."

Paul Phillips had an extra reason to celebrate being made an OBE, as the accolade coincides with the 10th anniversary of his becoming principal of Weston College.

Since Dr Philips took over the once struggling institution, it has trebled in size and seen a sizable improvement in students' attainment.

Several college staff below principal level also received recognition, including Teresa Esan, director of employability and employer engagement at City and Islington College, London.

For a full list of all MBE and OBE winners, see


Winning form


Patricia Bacon, principal, St Helens College


Ali Hadawi, principal, Southend Adult Community College

Richard Parker, former principal, Chichester College.

Diane Roberts, principal, Brockenhurst College

Ambrose Smith, principal, Aquinas Sixth Form College


Michael Field, chair of governors, Great Yarmouth College

Paul Phillips, principal and chief executive, Weston College

Sue Rimmer, principal, South Thames College

Helen Sexton, former principal and chief executive, National Star College

David Waddington, former principal, Hartlepool College of Further Education

Paul Williams, chairman, Deeside College Corporation

Jean Wilson, principal and chief executive, South Thames College


Elizabeth Barron, curriculum manager for science and sport, Inverness College

Teresa Esan, director of employability and employer engagement, City and Islington College

Brian Hill, head of school of engineering and science, Northern Regional College

Brian Litherland, lecturer in electrical engineering, Castle College

Alan Pluck, former chairman, SEEVIC College

Helen Sage, former programme co-ordinator, City of Bristol College

June Tracey, chair, Xaverian College

Derek Truffas, clerk to the corporation, Ashton Sixth Form College.

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