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Principals triumph in Birthday Honours

Two college principals have been appointed CBEs in the Queen's Birthday Honours this year.

Isle of Wight College principal Debbie Lavin was recognised for leading the island's only FE college out of serious difficulties. It is now an "outstanding" provider.

In 2007, Ofsted said the college had made "exceptional progress" over seven years to reach the outstanding grade. It added A-level courses last September, with a purpose-built sixth-form centre forming part of an pound;83 million campus redevelopment.

Bedford College principal Ian Pryce was also appointed CBE for a similar transformation over 12 years. The college said it had more than trebled students and staff and expanded its campuses, while moving from the bottom 10 per cent of colleges for pass rates to the top 5 per cent.

Mr Pryce said: "I always tell anyone I meet I have the best job in Bedford. This honour reflects the dedication and talent of all our staff. To receive such a senior honour is very humbling."

West Suffolk College principal Ann Williams and Stroud College principal Beri Hare were appointed OBE, along with Caroline Bannerman, the former principal of Bolton College, who retired due to ill health at the end of last year.

The same honour went to Gerald Davis, chair of governors at the College of North West London, and to Kevin Henry, former chair of governors at Croydon College.

Also appointed OBE were Keith Brooker, director of the City and Guilds Institute, and Ann Limb, a former college principal and founder of the Helena Kennedy Foundation, which supports FE and adult education students into higher education.

Three lecturers were appointed MBE: Nigel Hildreth, head of music and performing arts at Colchester Sixth Form College; Rhoda Robb, lecturer in horticulture with science at South Eastern Regional College in Bangor; and Sarah Moreland, senior advanced-skills practitioner at Oaklands College, who is also Britain's equestrian coach for the Special Olympics.

Governing bodies were represented on the MBE list by Jean Hardy, chair of governors at West Nottinghamshire College; Bipin Patel, vice-chair of governors at Working Men's College, London; Sheila Maeve, clerk to the corporation of Westminster Kingsway College; and John Marston, who chairs the estates committee at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College.

Joyce Amato, European co-ordinator at Newham College of Further Education, and Kirstie Donnelly, director of products and marketing at Ufilearndirect, which provides online learning from basic skills to NVQs, were also appointed MBE.

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