A former college principal was one of many familiar names from the FE sector to appear in the New Year honours list.
Geoff Hall, who retired from New College Nottingham in 2011, will be knighted for services to FE. Mr Hall (pictured) now holds the title of chairman of the board at the Information Authority, which collects data for the sector.
"I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to Geoff on receiving this well-deserved honour," said John Perks, head of the authority's secretariat. "We look forward to continuing to work with him over what is sure to be a challenging and rewarding year."
Former West Herts College principal Elizabeth Rushton was appointed OBE, along with Hartpury College principal Malcolm Wharton. Derby College principal David Croll was also appointed OBE in recognition of his work in transforming the FE landscape in the city, not least by uniting the former Mackworth, Wilmorton, Broomfield and South East Derbyshire colleges. "Having brought four colleges together under the Derby College banner and ethos over the years, raised standards and invested heavily in developing state-of-the-art facilities for our staff and students, this is a wonderful testament to the recognition and value that is put on our achievements," he said.
Eminent college principals appointed OBEs included Newbury's Anne Murdoch, Catherine Hurst of Wigan and Leigh, and former Lambeth supremo Richard Chambers, who retired in October. Linda Moore, vice-principal of Newcastle College, received the same accolade, as did Deirdre Hughes of the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network and immediate past president of the Institute of Career Guidance.
Dawn Stoddard, named 2010 Learndirect outstanding learner of the year after gaining the qualifications she needed to get back into work following 12 years of unemployment, was appointed MBE for services to FE. The same accolade was also given to: Michael Bonsier of Coulsdon Sixth-Form College; Geoffrey Oakes, formerly of Reaseheath College; Malcolm Parkinson of Capel Manor College; Denise Rowland, formerly of New College Durham; Carole Stott of the City Literary Institute; Margaret Winser of Truro and Penwith College; Christine Gaskell of the North West Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network; and Rolls-Royce's Graham Schumacher, who was recognised for services to apprenticeships.
Association of Colleges chief executive Martin Doel said: "Congratulations to all the college staff and governors, past and present, who have been honoured. Their presence in the New Year honours list is a tribute to their positive and lasting impact on FE."