When even Sir calls me Sir

22nd June 2001 at 01:00
Gongs are becoming as familiar as bells to Britain's teachers. Diane Spencer and Ceri Williams report on the now traditional bumper crop of honours for staff.

The head who helped his pupils get the best grades in the country, a businessman who put funds into a controversial Labour scheme, a head who called the Government "dictatorial" and one of the country's two black college principals can be found in the Queen's Birthday honours this year.

Of those who received awards, one in 10 are in education.

Kevin Satchwell from Thomas Telford school, Shropshire, was knighted. Sir Kevin, who grew up in a council house in the West Midlands, was given the honour after last year turning Thomas Telford into the first state comprehensive where every pupil got at least five GCSEs at grade C or better. Sir Kevin failed his 11-plus and never dreamed of being honoured for work in education.

He has sent a thank-you letter to all his pupils. "This is not an honour for me - it is an honour for all children and staff at the school.

"As a teacher for 29 years, I have got used to being called Sir but it will feel strange for adults to call me it as well."

Peter Vardy, chairman of Reg Vardy plc, has also been knighted. The millionaire from the motor trade epitomises the Government's desire to get commerce involved in education. He funds a city technology college in Gateshead and wants to set up more.

Two heads become dames: Wendy Davies, Selly Park technology college for girls, Birmingham, and Dela Smith, Beaumont Hill special school, Darlington. Dame Wendy took over her school in 1986 when it faced closure. Then 5 per cent of pupils got A to C grades; now 62 per cent do.

"They are the same sort of girls: 80 per cent from ethnic minorities; 60 per cent don't speak English at home and half are on free meals. We don't select on any grounds and most are bussed in from all around the city." She said her pupils had been delighted with her honour - once they found out what a dame was.

Dame Dela's school became one of the first of only two special schools in the country to be awarded technology status in partnership with Abbey Hill in Stockton in 1999. "I am humbled and bowled over. My office looks like a florist's. No one gets an honour like this without the support of so many people - I have a highly-skilled, loyal and supportive staff and governors."

Dr Chris Nicholls, of Moulsham high, Essex, who only last January called the Government "dictatorial" and "heavy-handed" for its prescriptive approach, said he was astonished to get a CBE. Dr Nicholls is an officer for the Secondary Heads Association and has been presenting its views to ministers.

In further education, Wally Brown of Liverpool Community College, a black college principal and chair of the Network for Black Managers, was awarded a CBE, as was John Conway of Greenhead College, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

A host of other heads received OBEs and the 40-plus education MBEs included teachers, governors, school secretaries, crossing-patrol workers, cleaners and caretakers.

He hopes the honour recognises his school's improvement and for his work on separate-gender teaching.


Professor George Bain, vice chancellor, Queen's University of Belfast

Kevin Satchwell, head, Thomas Telford school, Shropshire

Peter Vardy, chairman, Reg Vardy plc (for services to business and


Professor Alan Wilson, vice chancellor, Leeds University


Philippa Drew, director, education, training, arts and sport, Department

for Culture, Media and Sport


Wendy Davies, head, Selly Park technology college for girls, Birmingham

Dela Smith, head, Beaumont Hill special school, Darlington


Walter Brown, principal, Liverpool Community College

John Conway, principal, Greenhead College, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

James Donaldson, lately chief inspector, Further Education Funding Council

Keith Hirst, lately chair, Sandwell training and enterprise and council


Margaret Iles, head, St Mary's and St Peter's primary, Teddington, Surrey

Alasdair Macdonald, head, Morpeth school, Tower Hamlets, London

Douglas Marr, head, Banchory Academy, Aberdeenshire

Christopher Nicholls, head, Moulsham high school, Chelmsford, Essex

Graham Stirling, lately chairman, Prosper training and enterprise council

Professor Joan Stringer, principal and vice patron, Queen Margaret

University College, Edinburgh

James Wright, lately vice chancellor, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne


Allan Arnott, lately chair, Peterborough TEC

Syed Bokhari, principal, Ernest Bevin College, Tooting, London

Patrick Bryon, lead assessor, National Professional Qualification for

Headship, Wales

John Coulthard, head, Wensleydale middle school, Blyth, Northumberland

Margaret Cox, professor of IT in education, King's College, London

Kate Doherty, head of Enniskillen collegiate, Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

William Edmunds, principal, Deeside College, Flintshire

Peter Elliott, chair of governors, Northumberland College

Professor Robert Fowler, lately principal and chief executive, Central

School of Speech and Drama, London

Trevor Greenwood, head of the Model Girls' School, Belfast, Northern


John Guy, principal, Farnborough Sixth Form College, Hampshire

Clifford Hardcastle, south-east London

Derek Heasman, head, Dollis junior school, Mill Hill, London

Peter Hollis, head, Oaklands community school, Southampton, Hampshire

Paul Hopkins, head, St Gabriel's RC high school, Bury, Lancashire

Richard Jones, head, Amman Valley school, Ammanford, South Wales

Carol Laws, head, Wheatfields junior school, St Albans, Hertfordshire

Ronald Lofthouse, lately chair, Merseyside TEC

Gordon Mackenzie, head, Balwearie high school, Kirkaldy, Fife

Rosemary Murphy, chief executive, National Day Nurseries Association

William Parker, principal community education officer, Coventry, West


Professor Christine Pascal, chair, centre for research in early childhood,

University College Worcester

John Pike, lately chair, Greater Nottingham TEC

Yvonne Rose, governor, East Yorkshire College

Brian Smith, chief executive, Lite-On Ltd, for services to education and


Carolyn Swain, lately principal manager, Qualifications and Curriculum


Christopher Turner, principal, Brixham Community College, Devon

David Warren, chairman of board of management, North Highland College,

Thurso, Caithness

Professor Thomas Wilson, principal, Glasgow College of Building and



George Alexander, technology teacher, Rossie Secure Unit, Montrose

Thomas Baker, teacher, Red Rose primary school, Chester-le-Street, County


Suzanne Bardgett, project director, Holocaust Exhibition, Imperial War

Museum, London

Janet Bradford, deputy registrar, Southampton Institute of Higher Education

Christine Bromwich, secretary, Murston junior school, Sittingbourne, Kent

Robert Burn, lately caretaker, Highgate primary school, Haringey, London

Marion Crosbie, education officer HM Prison, Dartmoor

Albert Curran, teacher, St Michael's School, Billingham, Teesside

Victor Ecclestone, director of Multi, an arts in schools group part-funded

by Bristol council

Betty Feasey, secretary and classroom assistant of Sherington CE school,


Rita Fickling, site agent, Farley junior school, Luton

Edmund Fox, governors' trainer, Preston, Lancashire

David Greenwood, head, Sir John Mogg school, Detmold, Ministry of Defence,


Dorothy Grey, childminder, Wandsworth, London

Maureen Groves accommodation officer, Queen's University, Belfast, N


Sophia Harkness, teacher, Penpont primary school, Dumfriesshire

Linda Harris, nursery nurse, Three Crowns community special school,

Walsall, West Midlands

Rossina Harris, lecturer, Lewisham College, south-east London

Clarice Hill, caretaker, North Hykeham All Saints CE primary school,


Enid Jones, governor, Wigan and Leigh College

Jenny Kellaway, governor, Poole high school, Dorset

Suzanne Launchbury, mid-day supervisor, Brooke special school, Rugby,


James MacDonald, director of lifelong learning, University of Glasgow

June McGregor, principal development officer, Higher Still (post-16

reforms) for music education in Scotland

Eunice Myers, teacher, High Down infant school, Portishead, Bristol

Barbara Peacock, head, Ashlyns pregnant schoolgirls' unit,


David Reid, lately head janitor, Banff and Buchan College, Aberdeenshire

David Russon, teacher, Ridgewood high school, Stourbridge, West Midlands

Elizabeth Ryan, lately chair of governors, Honley high school,

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Lesley Ryan, learning support assistant, Green Hedges school, Cambridge

Catherine Sampson, lately cleaning supervisor, College of West Anglia,


Barbara Takyar, governor, Addington school, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire

Jeremy Taylor, head of religious education, Oakmeeds community college,

Burgess Hill, West Sussex

Margaret Thomas, crossing patrol, Bristol

James Vaughan, senior teacher, Toynbee school, Eastleigh, Hampshire

Catherine Waithe, adviser, ethnic-minority issues, University of the West

of England, Bristol

Shirley Westwood, teacher, Helenswood school, Hastings, East Sussex

Robert White, senior technician, Northbrook College, West Sussex

Averil Wilkinson, senior teacher, John Colet school, Wendover,


Patricia Williams, head, Kitchener primary school, Cardiff

Arnold Zimmerman, tutor and principal, Summer Schools, Educational

Development Association, Enfield, Greater London


Birthday honours

14 TES JUNE22 2001


Knighthood: Telford head Kevin Satchwell

Knighthood: school patron Reg Vardy

Dame Dela Smith Beaumont Hill school

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