Tim Brighouse, the controversial professor of education who was knighted in the New Year's honours list, has said he is both overwhelmed and embarrassed by the accolade.
"All I did was go round seeing tens of thousands of really good teachers," he said, "and talked to them about what they did, and wrote about what they did together with their heads and schools. I feel a slight fraud."
Sir Tim is one of the most respected and recognisable figures in education, becoming chief education officer of Oxfordshire at the age of 38, and then in Birmingham in the 1990s. He is credited with turning the city's schools around. His approach was to combine a belief in teachers with humour and a personal touch.
He became commissioner of London schools in 2003 and retired in 2007, although he continues to work as an adviser.
"It's just about noticing good practice and encouraging teachers and schools to learn from each other and keep alive the flame of intellectual curiosity," he said.
Knighthoods also went to Paul Edwards, head of Garforth Community College in Leeds, and Ralph Tabberer, director general for schools at the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
Figures from education make up about 10 per cent of the 966 honours awarded on January 1.
Professor Tina Bruce, author of 29 books on early childhood and one of the Government's early education advisers, was appointed CBE.
John Coughlan and John Freeman, directors of children's services in Hampshire and Dudley respectively, both received the same honour. They were joint presidents of the Association of Directors of Children's Services when it was created in 2007. More recently, Mr Coughlan took temporary control of Haringey children's services in the wake of the Baby P scandal.
Other heads, teachers, advisors and governors were also recognised. Bob Drew, head of Gearies Infant School in Redbridge, north-east London, was appointed OBE.
"My deputy told the children in assembly on Monday because I was out on a training sessions," he said. "When I came back, I was mobbed in the playground. It was lovely. The children were saying 'Congratulations on your badge'."
Both his adult children are planning careers in teaching. He said: "When I came into teaching, it was because I loved working with children. They are fun. It has become a bit more of a vocation. Teaching is about showing people how they can change their life."
Professor Tim BRIGHOUSE, Lately London Schools Commissioner
Paul EDWARDS, Head, Garforth College, Leeds
COMPANION OF THE ORDER OF THE BATH
Ralph TABBERER, Director general for schools, DCSF
Professor Tina BRUCE, Visiting professor of early childhood studies, Roehampton University
John COUGHLAN, Director of children's services, Hampshire County Council
Shirley CRAMER, Lately on the Learning and Skills Council and chief executive, Dyslexia Action
John FREEMAN, Director of children's services, Dudley
Tarun KAPUR, Executive head, Ashton on Mersey and Broadoak Schools, Trafford
Professor David Charles WOODS, Principal adviser, City Challenge
Elizabeth ANTROBUS, Head, Henry Cavendish Primary, Lambeth, south London
Jane CALDWELL, Lately head, Highfield Community Primary, Sunderland
Dr Stephen DAVIS, Lecturer in psychology, UCL (For services to children with communication disorders)
Robert DREW, Head, Gearies Infant School, Redbridge, Essex
Kathleen Mary GOODING, Lately senior early years inspector, Wolverhampton
David HAMPSON, Principal, Tollbar Business and Enterprise College, Lincolnshire
David HINCHLIFFE, Lately director of Ofsted's Future of Inspection project
Andrew Charles HUTCHINSON, Executive principal, Parkside Federation, Cambridgeshire
Christine OWEN, Head, Bartley Green School, Birmingham
Julian Mark PIPER, Former director of extended and integrated services, ContinYou
Judith Ann SHELLEY, Lately head, Rawmarsh Children's Centre in Rotherham
Susan WEST, Lately head, Millbrook Primary, Stalybridge, Cheshire
Patricia Susan Hazel BAKER, Director, Pyramid Educational Consultants UK
Jennifer BELL, Lately governor, Harrington Hill Primary, Hackney, east London
Michael John BOLTON, Undermaster, Sevenoaks School, Kent
Alec BRADER, Lately leader, Revesby Summer Playscheme, Boston, Lincolnshire
Michael BULL, Teacher, Whitehall Primary, Leicester
Ms Wendy COOLING, Co-founder, Bookstart Project
Wynne CREASY, Leader, Bexley Clerkship Practice, Bexley, south-east London
Collin CROOKS, Senior information access manager, DCSF
Allan Roy CURRALL, Chair of Governors, Kendrick School, Reading
Professor Jagdish DAVE (For services to education and to Asian people)
Marian Janet DAVIS, Teacher, Sexey's School (For services to the community in Queen Camel, Somerset)
Ronald John EUNSON, Lately chair of governors, Gosforth Central Middle and Broadway East First schools, Newcastle upon Tyne
Susan Christabel EUNSON, Lately governor, Gosforth East Middle and Gosforth Park First schools
John GRAHAM, Lately teacher, Hurworth Primary, Darlington
Arek HERSH (For voluntary service to Holocaust education)
Laurence Roy HULBERT, Vice-chair of governing body, Shire Oak School, Sutton Coldfield
Zafar IQBAL, Chair of governors, Bordesley Green Girls' School, Birmingham
David Onllwyn JONES, Assistant head, Villiers High, Ealing, London
Carol LEONARD, Nursery nurse, St Clement Danes Primary, Westminster, central London
Ann MAIDMENT, Teacher, Kenmore Park Middle School, Harrow, north London
Maureen TYLER MOORE, Principal, independent specialist college, Foxes Academy, Minehead
Jane PRATT, Governor, The Connaught School, Aldershot, Hampshire
Valerie PRIESTLEY, For services to Edith Cavell Lower School, Bedford
Dr Marie STEWART (For services to education, diversity and equal opportunities)
Donald STRINGER, Governor, Northfield School and Sports College, Stockton-on-Tees
Josephine Mary WAKEHAM, Chair of governors, Mousehole Community Primary, and vice-chair, Cornwall School Governors' Council
Ms Patricia Ellen WALLSON, Lately head, Columbia Market Nursery, and vice-chair, Little Oaks Children's Centre, Tower Hamlets, east London
Canon Richard WHITE (For services to music education)
Stephanie Dawn WILSON, Governor, Newland School for Girls, Kingston upon Hull
Christina Elizabeth Malcolm WRIGHT, Lately head of performing arts faculty, Burnholme Community College, York.
*For services to education, unless otherwise stated.