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Phonics champion Ruth Miskin recognised in New Year's Honours List

Specialist adviser on counter-extremism and head with track-record supporting challenging schools also honoured

The evidence suggests that phonics is key for reading development, says one academic

Specialist adviser on counter-extremism and head with track-record supporting challenging schools also honoured

One of the UK’s leading authorities on teaching children to read has been appointed a CBE in the New Year’s Honours List.

Ruth Miskin, a consultant in phonics and literacy as well as an experienced headteacher and teacher trainer, is honoured for her “services to education and reading”.

She was appointed an OBE in 2011, and has been championed by schools minister Nick Gibb, who in 2015 said schools’ emphasis on phonics wouldn’t have been possible without individuals like her.

Her organisation, Ruth Miskin Training, received a share of the government’s Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund to work closely with schools in difficult areas.

Also appointed a CBE is Margaret Wilson, headteacher of The King John School, Essex, who is a former adviser to the DfE’s academies division as well as a national leader of education with a strong track record in supporting schools in challenging circumstances.

Duncan Jacques, chief executive of Exceed Academies Trust, in West Yorkshire, is also appointed a CBE for services to education.

He last year became one of 32 academy leaders elected to sit on eight headteacher boards in England, which play an influential role overseeing the schools system in England.

Ann Connor, a former DfE specialist adviser on counter-extremism, is appointed an OBE. Her work has included highlighting concerns that primary schools do not have the teaching resources to deal with extremism and radicalisation of pupils.

And ex-headteacher Elaine Wyllie, who founded the Daily Mile in 2012, is appointed an MBE for services to the fitness of children.

The initiative, which sees pupils walk or jog for 15 minutes every day, has now spread to more than 6,600 schools in 55 countries.

Other education figures honoured include:


Carol Ann Brooks, lately chief examiner, CACHE, for services to early years education.

Lorraine Heath, chief executive, Uffculme Academy Trust in Devon and Somerset, for services to education.

Brendan Heneghan, principal, William Henry Smith School, West Yorkshire, for services to special educational needs.

Mary Isherwood, headteacher, Camberwell Park School, Manchester, for services to children and young people with special educational needs.

Patricia Kane, executive headteacher, The Education and Leadership Trust, Manchester, for services to Education.

Gary Smith, headteacher, Market Field School, for services to children with special educational needs in Essex.

Eleanor Tobin, lately principal, Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College, Birmingham, for services to education and young people.

Josephine Valentine, executive head, Danes Educational Trust, Hertfordshire, for services to education.

David Watson, executive principal and chief executive of the Changing Lives in Collaboration Multi Academy Trust, Manchester, for services to education.

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