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Head pleased, but a little mystified

Ian Gibson, head of Parkgate junior school in Watford for the past 23 years, said it was a "bit of a mystery" why he was awarded the MBE, writes Diane Spencer.

Perhaps his work as negotiating secretary for the Hertfordshire branch of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers and on the county education committee might have something to do with it, he thought. Mr Gibson trained at St Luke's College, Exeter, and took a part-time degree in the late 1960s. He then worked in a number of schools until he took up his current post. "I like working with people and kids. We have a good school, good parents a stable group of people, good team work."

June Bailey MBE started her working life as a junior secretary at Gravesend grammar school in 1954 and retired last July. "I enjoyed every aspect of the school - it's a very good school and wonderful support staff. I'm so pleased with the award as it's an honour for them as well."

Miss Bailey still cycles to school, but only twice a week to help out in the library. Susan Court, the head, said: "She has been a stalwart supporter of the school - the first in and the last to leave; we wanted her to get recognition when she had served for 40 years so we are delighted she has now."

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