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Head knighted for double act

Article | Published in TES Newspaper on 23 June, 2006 | By: William Stewart

Queen's birthday honours list recognises the achievements of 35 school staff, reports William Stewart

A head who has overseen dramatic improvements in results at two secondaries simultaneously, has become the latest school leader to be knighted.

Mark Grundy, who has worked for the Department for Education and Skills as a consultant head, was among 18 heads, 10 teachers, and seven support staff recognised in the Queen's birthday honours list at the weekend.

In 1997 Sir Mark became head of Shireland language college, in the West Midlands. Since then the proportion of pupils getting five Cs or better at GCSE has jumped from 25 to 57 per cent.

In June 2003 he also took neighbouring secondary George Salter high, West Bromwich, under his wing, becoming its chief executive. In two years the proportion of pupils attaining five good GCSEs had risen from 15 to 56 per cent. He has been awarded his knighthood for services to education and information and communications technology.

Sir Mark said: "I was flattered and amazed. But when I got the letter I did feel a little uncomfortable because if my teams of staff here weren't as good as they are then I wouldn't have received it."

Sir Mark is a fan of the Government's controversial trust school plans and is preparing his two schools for the status, which he sees as the next stage in their partnership.

There was also a knighthood for Philip Green, named the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust's sponsor of the year in 2005.

The high-street shopping magnate has contributed £1.25 million towards 50 specialist schools and sponsored the Fashion Retail Academy in London, the first of a series of skills academies being set up by the Government. He received his honour for services to the retail industry.

Michael Aaronson, former director general of Save the Children, and Professor Al Aynsley-Green, children's commissioner for England, were also knighted.

Sir Al said: "I dedicate this knighthood to all children and young people, but particularly to those who suffer disadvantage, poverty, disability and even death through no fault of their own. It is for children and young people like Victoria Climbie that my office and post were created."

Tom Jeffery who as director general of children, young people and families at the DfES has overseen the move to the new children's services agenda has been made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.

Brenda Bigland, head of Lent Rise combined school, Burnham, near Slough, is one of three heads to receive a CBE. The head who describes herself as the "friendliest bomb that ever hit Slough" said she was overwhelmed by the honour.

Tony Hartney, head of Gladesmore school, Haringey, London, said his CBE had boosted morale across the school. The secondary, where 53 different languages are spoken, has seen a steady rise in results since Mr Hartney took over in 1999.

Madeline Johnson became a dinner supervisor when her son started at Castle Hill infants in Ipswich 15 years ago. Today the new MBE has six years as a qualified teacher under her belt at the same Ipswich school.

The former insurance clerk, who progressed to become a teaching assistant while she took an Open University degree, said she was very proud of the recognition her honour had brought the "very special" school.

"I was never apprehensive about becoming a teacher because I knew I would get so much support here," she said "It is the best job. I have worked in offices and everything else but no job whizzes by like this one."

Bus driver Kay Roberts receives an MBE after more than 37 years ferrying pupils to Milton Abbot school, near Tavistock. She runs competitions for her passengers, hands out lollipops and remembers driving some of their parents.

* william.stewart@tes.co.uk

FE FOCUS 5

BIRTHDAY HONOURS

Knighthoods

Michael John Aaronson, CBE, formerly director-general, Save the Children.

Albert Aynsley-Green, children's commissioner for England.

Mark Grundy, head, Shireland college, Sandwell, West Midlands.

Philip Green, retail executive.

Companion of the Order of the Bath

Thomas Jeffery, director-general, children, young people and families, DfES.

CBE

Brenda Bigland, head, Lent Rise combined school, Burnham, BucksSimon Campbell, president, Royal Society of Chemistry.

Anthony Hartney, head, Gladesmore school, Haringey, London. Elizabeth Railton, honorary secretary, Association of Directors of Social Services and director of children's services, Essex.

Esther Rantzen, OBE, president, ChildLine.

Stephen Sanderson, head, St Joan of Arc RC primary, Bootle, Sefton, Merseyside Lynda Wilson, director, Barnardo's Northern Ireland.

OBE

William Fraser, Chairman of governors, City of London academy Gareth Matthewson, head, Whitchurch high, Cardiff.

Helen McClenaghan, chief exec, Southern Education and Library Board, Northern Ireland.

Thomas Moore, head, St Mary's RC high, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

Michael Morpurgo, MBE, children's writer.

Alison Ruddock, head of early-years service, Islington, London.Douglas Selkirk, head, Heath Park college, Wolverhampton.

Peter Simpson, principal, Brooke Weston city technology college, Corby, Northants.

Michael Treadaway, director of research, Fischer Family Trust.

Jeremy Waxman, head, Halifax high at Wellesley Park, Calderdale.

George Wheeler, head, Intake primary, Sheffield.

Silvaine Wiles, for services to black and minority ethnic education.

Jean Campbell, MBE, head, Glendale primary, Glasgow.

Hilary Craik, head, Stevenson junior, Stapleford, Notts.

Michael Crawshaw, head, Debenham CofE high, Suffolk.

Adeline Dinsmore, principal, Ashfield girls' high, Belfast.

Ishbel Gilroy, head, Central primary, Inverness.

Barbara Hearn, deputy chief exec and director, policy and research, National Children's Bureau.

Jack Jackson, ex assistant chief inspector of education, Scotland.

MBE

Aruna Ajitsaria, deputy head, Preston Park primary, London.

Colin Busby, deputy head, Lady Margaret secondary, Fulham, London.

Thomas Chambers, principal teacher, art and design, Govan high, Glasgow.

Kathleen Cook, former teaching assistant, Highover school, Hitchin, Herts.

Marion Davies, teaching assistant, Horbury primary, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Peter Dawson, head of year, Copleston high, Ipswich, Suffolk. Avril Diplock, head, Trefechan nursery, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.

Edward Earle, clerk of works, Royal Alexandra and Albert school, Reigate, Surrey.

John Ferrington, chair of governors, Ercall Wood technology college, Telford.

Felicity Gault, learning support assistant, St Mary and St Paul's first, South Harting, Hampshire.

Jean Gorringe, crossing warden, St James primary, Westhoughton, Lancs.

Denzil Hackford, chair, governing body, Ysgol Penmaes, Brecon, Wales.

Arthur Henderson, chair of governors, Linn primary, Larne, N. Ireland.

Yvonne Hill, head, Great Ormond Street hospital school, London.

Geraint Jenkins, head of geography, de Stafford school, Caterham, Surrey.

Madeline Johnson, teacher, Castle Hill infants, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Marie Jones, former meals supervisor, St John's RC primary, Gravesend, Kent.

Caroline Martin, former domestic assistant, Limegrove special school, Limavady, N. Ireland.

Stella Muncaster, school crossing warden, Hillingdon, London.

Michael Nicholls, chair of governors, The Heathland school, Hounslow, London.

Carol Rees-Field, former teacher, Ysgol Gwaenynog, Denbigh, Wales.

Helen Reynolds, head of science, Gosford Hill, Oxon.

Barbara Riddell, adviser, Sure Start and early years education. Kay Roberts, school bus driver, Milton Abbot school, Tavistock, Devon.

Keith Robinson, chair of governors, Castle View primary and the Grange infants, Cheshire.

John Rostron, chair of governors, King George V sixth-form college, Southport, Lancs. William Smith, senior janitor, Cumnock Academy, East Ayrshire.

Irene Tominey, formerly head of unit, St Philip's residential special school, Plains, Airdrie.

Adrian Vettese, manager, special programmes section, Adam Smith college, Fife.

Suzanne Wade, personal assistant, school standards group, DfES.

Peter White, chair of governors, Brunswick Park primary, Barnet, London.


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