FE stalwarts recognised in Queen's Birthday Honours

Darren Evans

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Leading figures from the FE sector have been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Among the recipients are two former TES FE Award winners. Ros Morpeth (pictured above), chief executive of the National Extension College and the TES FE leader of the year in 2014, was appointed OBE, while Di Layzelle, head of student life at Croydon College and recipient of the 2015 TES FE Lifetime Achievement Award, was appointed MBE.

Dr Morpeth came out of retirement in 2011 to turn around the fortunes of ailing long-distance learning provider NEC, which she left in 2003 after 27 years.

She told TES she was “shocked and delighted” to be honoured. “This is a very public recognition of both the achievements of the NEC and the fact it was worth fighting to give the organisation and its students a second chance,” she said.

Over the past quarter of a century, Ms Layzelle has fostered an culture of volunteering among students at Croydon College. In 2014, it became the first FE institution to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service after learners collectively clocked up 18,000 hours of voluntary work in one academic year. Last year they reached a total of 24,000 hours.

Croydon College principal Frances Wadsworth said: “Di Layzelle is truly remarkable and a worthy recipient of this tremendous honour. Her endless enthusiasm and complete dedication is awe-inspiring.”

Ms Layzelle said she was “humbled and honoured” to be appointed MBE.

“It’s an amazing accolade for the work of the FE sector and Croydon College,” she added. “I am very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to pursue this important work with students.”

A number of FE college principals have been honoured for their services to further education.

Frank McLoughlin, principal of City and Islington College, was knighted for his services to FE.

The college is graded outstanding by Ofsted and was the first college to be twice awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

Mr McLoughlin said: “I am absolutely delighted that my contribution to further education has been acknowledged in this way. Receiving this honour is, most importantly, further recognition of the work City and Islington College undertakes to enable young people and adults to learn, thrive and succeed.”

Shelagh Legrave, principal of Chichester College, has been appointed OBE, as was Desmond Lambert, principal of Plumpton College. Peter Roberts, principal of Leeds City College, was appointed CBE.

Other honourees in the FE sector:


  • Vincent Middleton, chair and managing director of Newburgh Engineering, for services to advanced manufacturing skills training.
  • Michael Smith, chief executive of Gen2 Training, for services to skills training and voluntary service to the community in Cumbria.


  • Alexander Denholm, governor of East Riding College, Yorkshire, for services to FE.
  • Eric MacIntyre, higher education manager at Loughborough College, for services to HE.
  • Andrew Dennis, bricklaying instructor at Manchester College, for services to prison education and skills.


  • Nigel Whitehead, group managing director at BAE Systems and commissioner at UKCES, for services to vocational education and skills.

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