Jubilee celebrations continue as North East educators honoured by the Queen

Fresh from half term, schools continue to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee whilst educators from the region have been honoured as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Schools North East would like to give a big congratulations to all those honoured this year as well as those ‘unsung’ heroes who aren’t.

The Honours showcase and applaud the work of individuals, many of which centre around those involved with supporting the country as it adjusts to life after lockdown. In the North East, those recognised include individuals who have created impact through their service to Education and Children’s Social Care.

Julia Millard, MBE 

Julia Millard, from Durham, is Chair of Governors for Langley Moor Nursery School, Langley Moor Primary School and Durham Community Business College (formally known as The Durham Federation). Julia has supported the Schools North East Governance programme and annual conferences and contributed to many of our governance events. Julia commented:

“Being a governor is all about teamwork. I have been very fortunate to have worked with so many fantastic people over the 24 years that I have been a governor. I am so proud of my schools and the work they do to provide high quality care and education for our children and young people. I was very surprised to receive this award but very grateful to have been recognised. I hope I can continue to play a part in the education of young people in our region.”

Governors and trustees make a huge difference to schools and their local communities. Being a school governor allows for opportunities to develop personal and professional satisfaction, whilst helping to support schools and shaping the future of children across the North East. 

There are 250,000 school governors and trustees in England – supporting maintained schools and multi academy trusts (MATs), making it the largest volunteer force in the country. Despite this, 10% of governor positions are vacant. Julia’s honour reflects the value of governors and the impact they have in their local communities.

Martyn Oliver, Knighthood

The CEO of Outwood Grange Academies Trust, Sir Martyn Oliver, received a knighthood for his services to Education. Martyn told Schools North East:

“It is a privilege to work in the North East with so many talented staff and in communities where you know you can make a difference to people’s lives.  Being a teacher, Head Teacher and now leader of a number of schools has been and remains a wonderful and fulfilling job.”

The Outwood Family sponsors forty schools across the North of England. The trust aims to help children receive the best education possible by improving schools including those from the most disadvantaged areas in the country.  

Further honours also include Margaret Mitford, BME, former Head Teacher of Brandling Primary School in Gateshead and Sunderland’s Jill Colbert, OBE, Director of Children’s Services and Chief Executive for Together for Children

Educators from all over the region are striving to improve the lives of students and local communities. The honours highlight local achievements while showcasing the commitment to the education sector. 

A Queen for the Day

During half term, students across the country watched as Paddington Bear met with the Queen for a spot of tea and a marmalade sandwich. The Platinum Jubilee has provided a great opportunity for the students in the North East to celebrate together with parties and activities centred on the Queen and British culture. 

As well as honours for school staff, students celebrated their teachers and each other. Due to the pandemic, many students have missed out on opportunities to hold events at schools and gather together. Walkergate Community School in Newcastle taught students traditional Morris dancing and had a picnic for the school, creating ‘a day to remember’. Alison Young, Head Teacher at Walkergate commented:

Due to COVID it is the first whole school event which we have been able to enjoy in this way and for our younger children it was their first experience of a whole school event.

At Durham Trinity School and Sports College, a member of staff was honoured by the school, named as their own ‘Queen for the Day’. Staff member Bernice Smith was treated like royalty, made to feel special by the school and given the task of judging the ‘draw a picture of the Queen’ competition. Alison Jefferson from Durham Trinity commented:

“The reason we decided to make her Queen for the day is that she is 70 this year and does a lot of work within the local community to support charities and local groups so we thought it would be nice to give her some recognition.  She was very honoured that we did this and really enjoyed the day. “

This year, National Thank a Teacher Day (26th May) also coincided with many Jubilee activities in schools allowing for more educators to be ‘honoured’ by their schools at a local level. North East schools have been the fourth emergency service throughout the pandemic and it has been a pleasure to see the joy the Jubilee has brought to those working hard to support schools despite the challenges of the last few years. 

If you would like to learn more about becoming a school governor, or know of someone who would thrive in the role, you can find more information at https://schoolsnortheast.org/workspace/uploads/resources/register-your-interest-gover-62974066bc32b.pdf

To learn more about the honours system, you can join the Cabinet Honours free virtual events programme at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/honours-week-showcasing-the-best-of-the-uks-honours-system-tickets-324700055607?keep_tld=1

We love to hear good news from North East Schools, to share your news with Schools North East please tag @SchoolsNE on Twitter or apply here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeGgTpbLixAqIprwSS2JXd_AFcKYD5Ahtug_ol7BdHDfgHRsw/viewform

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