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Inspirational educators recognised in New Year's Honours list

Two outstanding school leaders were appointed Dames in the New Year’s Honours list today, and the executive principal of an academy trust was knighted.

Kate Dethridge (pictured), headteacher of Churchend School in Reading; Oremi Evans, headteacher of the Brookfield School in Herefordshire; and John Townsley, executive principal of the Gorse Academies Trust in Leeds, were all honoured for their services to education.

Theodore Agnew, chair of the Department for Education (DfE)’s Academies Board and founder of the Inspiration Trust academy chain, was also knighted.

Dame Kate, who is also an associate director of the National Education Trust and chair of a DfE group writing new standards for teaching assistants, told TES it was a “huge surprise” and an “amazing honour”.

“I still can’t quite believe it,” she said. “Education is the only thing I have ever known, it is my absolute passion and to be honoured for my work is incredible.

“Any success I have had has always been about the teams and the children I have been lucky enough to work with.”

Churchend school, which Dame Kate has led for 17 years, is a National Support School and has twice been graded outstanding by Ofsted in recent years, in 2005 and 2008.

Roy Blatchford, director of the National Education Trust said he was “delighted” that she had been recognised for her “diverse and significant” contributions to education.

Dame Oremi has been headteacher of the Brookfield School for 13 years, during which it has been judged outstanding by Ofsted three times, in 2007, 2010 and 2014.

Sir John Townsley oversees the Morley and Farnley academies, both of which are rated outstanding by Ofsted, and a new free school, the Ruth Gorse Academy, which opened in September.

Dozens more school leaders, teachers, governors and educators were honoured with CBEs, OBEs and MBEs for their education work in the New Year’s honours list (see below).

Tim Oates, group director of assessment, research and development at Cambridge Assessment, was appointed CBE for services to education. Mr Oates, who led the government’s national curriculum review, said: “I am very happy to receive this honour. I would like to thank all those at Cambridge Assessment who enabled me to make this contribution to improving our education system.”

Fred Jarvis, the former general secretary of the NUT teaching union and recipient of the Service to Education prize at the 2013 TES School Awards, was given a CBE for parliamentary and political services.

Mr Jarvis said he was “agreeably surprised”, but “somewhat puzzled” that the citation made no reference to his work in education, “in which I spent the whole of my professional career and am still involved.”

"But since a good deal of my work was devoted to parliamentary and political activity I agreed to accept the award," he added. "In doing so I want to express my gratitude to, and share it with, all those who have worked with me in education over the years.”

Honours for services to education:

Knights Bachelor

Theodore Agnew, chair of the DfE's Academies Board and founder of the Inspiration Trust academy chain.

John Arthur Townsley, executive principal The Gorse Academies Trust, Leeds.

Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire

Kate Dethridge Principal, Churchend Primary School, Reading and National Leader of Education.

Oremi Evans. Headteacher, The Brookfield School, Herefordshire.


Catherine Garside. Headteacher, St. Ambrose Barlow RC High School, Swinton, Salford.

Tim Oates, group director of assessment research and evelopment, Cambridge Assessment.

Amanda Phillips, executive principal, Paradigm Trust, Tower Hamlets, London.

Judith Salter, headteacher, Glenwood Special School, Essex.

Professor Caroline Elizabeth Whalley Founder, the Elliot Foundation and Trustee, Shine.


Gulfaraz Ahmed, headteacher, Parkinson Lane Primary School, Halifax.

Lorraine Allen, principal, Whitley Academy, Coventry.

Elizabeth Armour, inspector, Education and Training Inspectorate, Department of Education, Northern Ireland Executive.

Adam Chedburn, headteacher, Whitley Bay High School, Tyne and Wear.

Dr Lesley Curtis, headteacher, Everton Nursery School and Family Centre, Liverpool.

John Dahlstrom Headteacher, Hope Special School, Wigan.

David Hudson, executive headteacher, Wickersley School and Sports College, Rawmarsh Community School and Clifton Community School, Rotherham.

Nicholas Simon Hurn Executive Headteacher, Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Gateshead and St Robert of Newminster School, Sunderland.

Patricia Jones, founder and chief executive officer, Bristol Dyslexia Centre.

Maureen McKenna, director of education, Glasgow City Council.

Richard Millington, executive principal, Chepping View Primary School, Buckinghamshire.

John Morris, headteacher, Ardleigh Green Junior School, Havering.

Dr Anne Murray, principal, Oakgrove Integrated Primary and Nursery School, Londonderry.

Michael Pears, assistant director, Acadamies Group, IFD, Department for Education.

Maura Regan, principal, Carmel College and Chief Executive, Carmel Education Trust.

Margrit Scott, president, Association for the Professional Development of Early Years Educators.

Professor Iram Siraj Professor of Early Childhood Education, Institute of Education, University of London.


Agnes Brand, foundation stage co-ordinator, Enniskillen Model Primary School, Northern Ireland.

Gbolahan Bright, volunteer maths teacher, Bright Maths Club, Dagenham Heathway Library.

Arthur Capstick, for services to Education and to the community in in Staveley and Kendal, Cumbria.

Lynda Clapham, librarian, Sidney Stringer Academy, Coventry.

Raymond Coe, SEN co-ordinator, Royal Docks Community School, London Borough of Newham.

Ian Courtney, chair, executive governing body, Dartmoor Federation.

Geoffrey Dunn, principal, Ballysally Primary School, Coleraine.

Elizabeth Garnham, chair of governors, Uffculme and Hamilton Special Schools and vice chair, Parents' Views Count, Birmingham.

Teresa Harper, head of teacher development, Education Standards Directorate, Department for Education.

Stephen Hill, deputy headteacher, St Joseph’s RC Primary School, Shaw, Oldham.

Susan Kirkham, lately curriculum and assessment specialist, Association for School and College Leaders.

Florence Mairs, principal, Straid Primary School, Ballyclare.

Jennifer Mcallister education officer, Scottish Seabird Centre.

Brendan McCusker, principal, St Mary's Primary School, Maguiresbridge, Northern Ireland.

Judith Miln, deputy headteacher, Clapton Girls' Academy, Hackney.

Ellen Muir headteacher, Pilrig Park School, Edinburgh.

Stephen Parsons, for services to education and the community in Bristol.

William Patterson, chair, board of governors, Dromore Central Primary and Dromore High Schools, Northern Ireland.

Mohammad Rashud, headteacher, John Summers High School, Flintshire.

Anthony Scott, chief examiner and principal moderator for GCSE PE, Edexcel Exam Board.

Alan Sefton, head, Arsenal in the Community.

Fiona Sellar, principal music teacher, Nairn Academy, Scotland.

Sandra Simmons, chair of governors, Kilgarth School, Merseyside.

Charles Stripp, chief executive, Mathematics in Education and Industry.

Eunice Walters, headteacher, Brynhyfryd Primary School, Briton Ferry, Wales.

Christopher Wells, chair of governors, Federated Schools of Gislingham and Palgrave, Suffolk.

Deborah Withers, lately headteacher, Wren Spinney Special School, Kettering.

Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

Patricia Burns, staff governor, Appleby Grammar School, Cumbria.

Lesley Calver,t manager, Funfishers Out of School Club and Playgroup, York.

Theresa Condick, pupil support manager, Glyn Derw High School, Cardiff.

Ronald Cox, for services to Education and to the community in Holt and Kelling, Norfolk.

Tracy Cullen, business manager, Queensbridge Primary School, London Borough of Hackney.

Mary Greenlaw, cleaner, Portsoy Primary School, Banffshire, Scotland.

Ashley Hall, fundraiser and volunteer, Rocklands Special School, Lichfield.

Janet Inglis deputy headteacher, Immanuel College, Bradford.

James Jackson, head caretaker, Woodhouse College, London Borough of Barnet.

Timothy Meynell, school governor and volunteer music teacher, Alconbury Church of England Primary School, Cambridgeshire.

Lynne Pullinger, lately learning support assistant, Burford School, Marlow Bottom, Buckinghamshire.

Effat Rahimi-Kaloujeh Sims, operational manager (inclusion), Westminster Academy, London.

Diana Robinson, school volunteer and chair, Old Girls’Association, Bury Girls Grammar School.

Pamela Smith, volunteer, Ivington Church of England Primary School, Hereford.

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