Top honours for North East school leaders

Congratulations to the school leaders from our region who were recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2017 for services to education!

Lesley Powell, Executive Principal of The Academy at Shotton Hall and CEO of the North East Learning Trust was awarded a CBE. Lesley has been teaching for 29 years, starting as an NQT at Highfield School in Gateshead. She joined Shotton Hall 12 years ago as Deputy Head and has been Headteacher for seven years.

In this period, Shotton Hall has become a teaching school, received an outstanding Ofsted judgement and, earlier this year, became one of just 11 research schools – the first in the North East.

Also receiving an honour was Mandy Southwick, Principal of Marchbank Free School in Darlington, who was awarded an MBE. Marchbank specialises in helping primary aged pupils with Social Emotional and Mental Health difficulties (SEMH). Mandy is herself from Darlington and started teaching at Aycliffe Village Primary School.

Bethan Harding was also awarded an MBE. Bethan recently joined Bede Academy in Blyth as Head of Primary Years. She previously worked at a primary school in Cardiff. She has been recognised not just for leading her own highly successful school, but also for her contribution to school improvement across South Wales.

Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, said:

“I would like to congratulate everyone recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. These are extraordinary people, whose achievements improve the lives of children, young people and adults through excellent care and education, and promoting equality and diversity for all.”


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