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Knighthoods for two more heads;Honours

Tony Blair's New Year's honours list recognises those whose workin education is not a job but a passion. Karen Thornton reports

Knighthoods continue to be the order of the day for the teaching profession, with two more awarded in the Prime Minister's New Year's honours list. This follows last year's surprise award of three "sirs for sirs".

A caretaker, a janitor, three governors, three lollipop ladies, alaboratory technician, and 16 other headteachers are also to be honoured this year for their services to education.

Lyndon Jones, principal and chief executive of Harris city technology college in Croydon, Surrey, has no doubt that his pupils' growing success at GCSE contributed to his knighthood.

In 1997, Harris topped the Government's list of most improved schools, with the percentage of its pupils achieving five good GCSEs up from 11.7 to 64 per cent in seven years.

Mr Jones said: "This is a recognition of a long programme of reform and improvement. I am delighted for the children of South London, and for the staff. A lot of hard work has gone into this - it's not a job, it's a passion.

"It's been a long, hard struggle to improve the school and demonstrate what can be achieved. I'm very proud indeed."

Also honoured is David Winkley, a former headteacher, now director of the National Primary Trust. He believes that his knighthood reflects a growing awareness of the importance of primary education.

He said:"Primary education has not been noticed in this way before. It is moving up the political agenda, which has got to be good news."

It is 18 months since Dr Winkley gave up the headship of the inner-city Grove school in Handsworth, Birmingham. As well as working with the trust, he also sits on several Government advisory groups, including ones on gifted children; links between the independent and state sectors; and good teaching practice.

Other honours include CBEs for David Mallen, chairman of the Association of Chief Education Officers and the CEO of East Sussex education authority; and George Phipson, head of West Hatch High School in Chigwell, Essex, who has robustly represented fellow heads of grant-maintained schools.

Mr Mallen, who is to step down from his post at East Sussex this summer, said: "It's a nice bit of recognition that chief education officers are back on the scene and a bit influential."

Anne Collingwood is awarded an OBE for regenerating Crook primary in Durham, the first primary to be declared "failing".

Professor Elizabeth Newson, who has highlighted the effect of violent videos on children, receives an OBE for services to children with autism.

John Goodfellow, chairman of the board at Angus College, Arbroath, receives perhaps the most unusual commendation for his OBE - for services to promoting educational links with farms.

Leader, page 18

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