Dorothy Lepkowska speaks to three new knights and a dame
Three heads and a governors' chairman received top honours in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours list.
They were joined by teachers, support staff, civil servants, charity workers, local government officials, school cooks and caretakers recognised for their contribution to the education service.
Knighthoods will go to Alan Steer, head of Seven Kings high school, in Redbridge, north-east London; John Lewis, principal of Dixons city technology college, Bradford, and Michael Wakeford, chairman of governors at Walsall academy in the west Midlands.
Enid Bibby, head of Wood Green college of sport, in Wednesbury, West Midlands, is to become a dame.
Alan Steer has been head at Seven Kings since 1985 and is an adviser to the Prime Minister's delivery unit. He said: "I have been sitting on this since May with a sense of unreality. I am determined to enjoy it. It is quite remarkable being honoured for something that you love doing. I get very fed up with stories in the media about low morale in the teaching profession because I still think it is a wonderful job."
He began his career teaching history in Leeds, before moving gradually south working at Weaver's achool, in Northamptonshire, and Grange Park in Hertfordshire.
Seven Kings is a beacon school, where three-quarters of pupils are bilingual, and a fifth are entitled to free school meals. Eight out of 10 leave with five or more top grade GCSEs.
Enid Bibby, 53, moved to the Black Country from Silverdale school, in Sheffield six years ago, after meeting and marrying writer and education consultant Bob Bibby.
She said: "When I heard about this honour I thought it was a hoax. There is a huge group of people who have contributed to the success of this school.
No improvement drive can be carried out by just one person."
John Lewis said his forthcoming knighthood would be an award for the whole of his school and said it would raise morale.
Michael Wakeford said the honour is a huge compliment to Walsall academy.
The school is only in its first year but is already showing signs of improvement, he said.
Elsa Davies, director of the National Playing Fields Association, was made a Lieutenant of the Victorian Order, an honour which is in the personal gift of the sovereign.
She said: "I am really chuffed. It is nice for the NPFA and for everyone who has campaigned to save playing fields over the years."
Trevor Brooking CBE, director of football development, Football Association.
John Lewis OBE, principal, Dixons city technology college, Bradford.
Alan Steer, head, Seven Kings high, Redbridge, London.
Michael Wakeford OBE, chairman, governing board of the Walsall academy (on behalf of The Mercers Company).
DAME OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE
Enid Bibby, head, Wood Green high school college of sport, Wednesbury, West Midlands.
ORDER OF THE BATH, GCB
Jonathan Tross, chief executive, children and family court advisory and support service, Department for Education and Skills.
LIEUTENANT OF THE VICTORIAN ORDER, LVO
Elsa Davies, director of the National Playing Fields Association.
Judith Grylls, head, Osmani primary, Tower Hamlets, London.
Roger De Haan DL, chair, SAGA Group. For services to business, charity and education.
Ian Laing DL.For charitable services to the arts, business, education and health Colin MacLean, head, Auchinleck academy, Ayrshire.
William McGinnis, OBE, DL. Ex-chair, Learning and Skills Board, Northern Ireland.
Roger McGough OBE, poet, children's author and broadcaster.
Lindsay Roy, head, Inverkeithing high, Fife.
Andrew Seber, county education officer, Hampshire.
Col John Sweeting, chief executive, Treloar Trust and formerly chair, Association of National Specialist Colleges.
Ruth Westbrook, former head, Tile Hill Wood girls' school, Coventry.
Annie Bennett, head, Knotty Ash primary, Liverpool.
Mark Boulton, executive director, International Centre for Conservation Education.
Professor Susan Buckley, director, research and training, Down Syndrome Educational Trust.
Hasan Chawdhry, head, Edinburgh primary, Waltham Forest, London.
Susanna Cheal MBE, chief executive, The Who Cares? Trust for services to children and young people.
Joan Christi MBE, chair, North eastern education and library board, Northern Ireland.
Gita Conn JP, for services to Pro-Contact Greater Manchester Supervised children's contact and assessment centre.
Philip Entwistle, head, St Bede's Roman Catholic high, Ormskirk, Lancashire.
Peter Evans, head, Cardinal Newman Roman Catholic secondary, Hove, East Sussex.
Major John Garner, chief exec, KidsOut Charity, for services to disadvantaged and special needs children.
John Hassell, head, Glyne Gap special school, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex.
Hugh Hastie, chief executive, Derbyshire Connexions Partnership.
Kathleen Holt, governor, Springwood nursery, Bristol Cathedral school and Monkton Combe school, Bath.
Arthur Ivatts, DfES and Ofsted adviser on Gypsy and Traveller children's education.
Carol Jackson, head, Kersland school, Renfrewshire.
Ronald Jacobs, former head, specialist schools unit, school diversity division, DfES.
David Kissman, chair, Corporation of Broxtowe college, Nottingham.
Patrick Martin, former chief executive, Western education and library board.
Daniel McDonald, head, St Joseph's Catholic primary, Westminster, London.
Michael O'Neill, director of education, North Lanarkshire council.
Robert Perfect, chief executive, Youth Justice Board for England and Wales.
Jack Petchey, for services to young people in east London and Essex through the Jack Petchey Foundation.
Marilyn Raine, head, Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen.
Dr David Singleton, head, post-compulsory education division, Ofsted Carol Smith, former chief executive, Careers Management (Futures) Ltd, east London.
Judith Stevenson, head, Robert Owen early years centre, Greenwich, London.
Timothy Stevenson, non-executive board member, DfES Kenneth Walsh, former head, King Edward VII school, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
Professor Linda Ward, director, Norah Fry foundation, Bristol university.
Barbara Adams, head, St Peter's, Galashiels.
Isabella Anderson, former school crossing warden, St. Kevin's primary, North Lanarkshire.
Rosemary Elizabeth Bailey, former manager, Cottage nursery, Shrivenham, Wiltshire.
Catherine Baker, former head of performing arts (music), Heanor Gate science college, Derbyshire.
Peter Baker, chair of governors, St. Peter's high, Gloucester.
David Bundock, head, Llandysul primary School, Ceredigion.
James Burbridge, caretaker, Perth college, Scotland.
Jackie Campbell, for services to young people in Cummertrees, Annan, Dumfriesshire.
Pauline Campbell, cook, Harold Magnay school, Liverpool.
Colette Cartwright, school crossing warden, Gwynedd primary, Flintshire.
June Christie, principal teacher, Logans primary, Motherwell.
Doreen Crawford, reader, Volunteer Reading Help charity, Lewisham, London.
John Crozier, former personal adviser, Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Connexions service.
John Davenport, former caretaker, St Paul's C of E primary, Bury.
John Dossett-Davies, member, National Council of the British Association of Social Work (for services to children and families) Christine Anne Dearman, teacher and school manager, John Mansfield school, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
Lt Col Robert French, volunteer, Workers' Educational Association, Winchester. Sandra Furby, manager, Future Prospects, York.
Arthur Goddard, for services to health and education, Exeter, Devon.
Sharon Golze, principal administration officer, Don Valley high, Doncaster.
Brian Gray, former head, Careers Service and head, Derbyshire Connexions services.
Vera Gray, cook, Bugthorpe Church of England primary, North Yorkshire.
Rona Gunnell, adult literacy officer, Dumfries and Galloway council, Dumfries.
Gillian Hare, founder First Step Opportunity Group, Havering, east London.
Beryl Hitch, honours secretary, Private Office, DfES.
Frances Hollis, chair of governors, Bishopsford community school, Merton, south London.
Wendy Johnson, vice-chair, Institute for Outdoor Learning.
Paul Keogh, head of languages, King James school, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
Catherine Ann Kittredge, assistant head, Nower Hill high, Pinner, London.
Ralph David Kramer, executive director, Youth Enquiry Service (Plymouth) Ltd.
Hilary Lawson, community learning manager, Workers' Educational Association, Inverness and North Highlands.
Joyce Lock, member, parent-teacher association, The Meadows school, Bristol.
Norma Lockhart, science teacher, Southfield technology college, Workington, Cumbria.
Elizabeth Mack, school secretary, Tranent primary, East Lothian.
Rainsbury Martin, head of maths, City of London School.
Derek Martin, youth worker, Pettits youth club, Havering, London.
Henry Mason, deputy principal, Qualifications and learning policy branch, Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland.
Muhammed Matin, governor, Tower Hamlets college and chair, Keen Students supplementary school.
Linda McCarthy, teaching assistant manager, Newark Orchard school, Newark, Nottinghamshire.
Margaret Monticelli, support grade, facilities management services, commercial services division, DfES.
Richard Postlethwaite, geography teacher, Redborne upper school and community college, Ampthill, Bedfordshire. Leighton Rich, teacher and director, Hampshire county youth band.
Monica Rooney, PE teacher, St Julie's Roman Catholic high, Derbyshire.
John Rowles, caretaker, Hathaway primary, Ealing, London.
Dennis Stinchcombe, project manager, Spices neighbourhood support funded project, Bristol.
Dolores Stinson, teacher, Armagh College of Further Education.
John Stokes BEM, co-founder and chair, Taste for Adventure Project, Hereford.
Ivan Street, volunteer, Springfield junior, Swadlincote, Derbyshire.
Judith Swift, national development officer, learning services, TUC.
Lorna Tyson, director of business and enterprise, Myerscough college, Preston.
Brian Watson, project manager, Community Service Volunteers.
Elizabeth Williamson, Education department, information analysis and communication division, Scottish Executive.
Sylvia Wilson, childminder, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.
Janet Winson, teaching assistant, Kilburn infants, Derbyshire.