2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List acknowledges outstanding contribution to education and children services during the Covid 19 pandemic

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson

Teachers and leaders all over the country have been recognised for their work during the Covid 19 pandemic in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Among those honoured are the headteachers of the pioneering Oak National Academy, which provided online lessons to make sure pupils did not miss out, and a head who made sure pupils with special educational needs and disabilities could still attend during lockdown.

98 people have been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List for their outstanding contributions to the education and children’s services sectors. The list includes headteachers, teachers, social workers, foster carers and many who work with the most disadvantaged in society as well as those selected for their efforts during the pandemic.

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson said:

The work that went in to making sure pupils could continue their education during lockdown and then make sure all children could return to their classes was phenomenal, so it is fantastic to see so many being recognised with some of the highest honours this country can award

I would like to congratulate all the recipients on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List because their work is so inspiring and deserving of recognition.

I would also like to offer a special thank you to those who continue to contribute as part of the national effort during the Covid-19 pandemic. This list highlights the many committed professionals who are working tirelessly across education and children’s services to deliver better outcomes for young people and students across the country during this challenging period.

Social Worker, Manvir Hothi has been awarded an MBE due to her work during the Covid-19 crisis. She sought and collected essentially needed items and voluntarily mobilised a group of volunteers close to where she lives to prepare and distribute care packs for key workers. These were then delivered to hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes across the country.

Matthew Hood and David Thomas, Principal and Curriculum Director at the Oak National Academy in London have been given OBE’s for their services to education during the pandemic. When it was announced that all schools would be closed, except for vulnerable children and the children of key workers, Matthew and David were at the forefront of innovative and fast-paced work to develop resources to make remote education the best it can be for both pupils and teachers

Similarly, Jane Davenport, headteacher at Reynalds Cross School has received an MBE for her services to young people with special educational needs and disabilities during the crisis. As headteacher at the school, Jane, with the help of her committed staff, made sure that she supported not only keyworkers’ children but also enabled those pupils and families who are most vulnerable to attend school during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of these children have very complex learning, physical, behavioural, and medical needs which makes keeping them safe increasingly harder in the current crisis.

A number of non Covid – 19 related nominees also feature on this year’s honours list. Yvonne Conolly, the first black headteacher in the UK has been awarded a CBE for her services to education. At 23 years old, Yvonne arrived in the UK from Jamaica in 1963 as a qualified teacher, having taught at a boarding school in Jamaica. Yvonne faced many challenges in finding a job at that time and with the help of a friend she started as a Supply teacher in Camden where she lived, and her first temporary assignment at George Eliot became permanent. Her first step into teaching in the UK became a giant leap when in 1969 she became the first female black headteacher in the UK.

For more information on the nominations, please contact the Department for Education Press Office on 02077838300.

Nominating someone for an award

If you know someone working to improve education, children’s services, or social mobility who deserves an honour, please contact the Honours Team at: [email protected]

Published 9 October 2020