From education to employment

The Manchester College’s Christine Kenyon receives MBE

Christine Kenyon

Christine Kenyon recognised with MBE in New Year’s Honours for Services to Further Education

The Manchester College’s former Deputy Principal, Christine Kenyon, has received an MBE for Services to Further Education in this year’s New Year’s Honours.

The MBE recognises Christine’s significant contribution to, and innovative impact on, further education over her 35-year career, including being at the forefront of technical further education reform nationally through her work with the Department for Education on T Level qualifications.

Having started her career as a part-time lecturer on a number of courses at Blackpool and The Fylde College in 1989, while also running a mobile hairdressing business, in 1996 Christine was appointed Curriculum Manager for Hairdressing, which she led to becoming the first hairdressing department in the country to receive an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rating.

Christine subsequently held a range of management and senior leadership positions at Runshaw College and Blackburn College before joining The Manchester College as Vice Principal in 2014 and then being promoted to Deputy Principal in 2019.

Commenting on the MBE Christine said: “I feel humbled and proud to have received an MBE in recognition of my contribution to further education. Throughout my career I have had the privilege of working alongside so many talented colleagues and students – without whom I wouldn’t be receiving this award today.

“Further education is a door that is always open to everybody regardless of their starting point. My career started with a course at my local further education college and I am a testament to the positive impact that a further education can have on your career aspirations.

“My family have supported, encouraged and believed in me throughout my career and I can’t thank them enough. I am privileged to have worked alongside so many wonderful people and feel that I am accepting this award on behalf of them all.” 

In her roles at The Manchester College Christine devised and implemented the College’s ‘Employer Partnership Strategy’ to enable as many students as possible to access extended and meaningful work placements to broaden their skills and prepare them for work.

Having aligned the College’s provision closely with employers, Christine then played an instrumental role in the launch of T Levels both at the College and nationally, using her experience to develop a strategy to encourage employers to engage in the development of the new flagship technical qualification.

As part of this Christine worked with the Department for Education and the Gatsby Foundation to champion technical education and ensure it enables young people and adults to develop the skills they need to progress to sustained employment.

Christine’s drive, commitment and vision were crucial in seeing the College improve its student achievement rates, taking the College into the top 10 in the country.  This work was recognised in 2021 when the College was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its ‘Careers not Courses’ strategy.

College Principal Rachel Curry commented: “As a College we are all exceptionally proud that Christine’s significant and extensive contribution to further education – both here in Greater Manchester and nationally – have been recognised with a richly-deserved MBE.

“Christine’s passion and enthusiasm to both champion further education and ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from it are unparalleled. Her innovation in aligning technical education with employers has been instrumental in ensuring that as many people as possible leave further education with the skills they will need for a successful and rewarding career.

“On behalf of everyone at the College I would like to congratulate Christine on receiving her MBE.”

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