Graeme Lawrie (@Graemelawrie84), ACS International Schools‘ (@ACSintschools) Partnerships Director has been awarded an MBE for his ‘services to education’ as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2020.
Graeme has spent over two decades working in education and is passionate about supporting quality education, social mobility and increased social capacity via education. Through his various roles in the sector, Graeme has worked with hundreds of schools, refugee camps and other charities to create and provide opportunities to those in less fortunate circumstances. Graeme joined the ACS executive team in January 2019 and has since been working hard to drive ACS’s charitable mission to advance the education of its own students and also the wider community, by working locally and internationally in partnership with schools and communities to share expertise and resources.
ACS became a registered charity in September 2018 and partnerships form a key part of its schools’ charity activity. It is ACS’s aim to become a valued partner to local state schools, businesses and the wider community in the areas its schools serve, and beyond. Over the past two years, Graeme and the Partnerships team have been working on an outreach box scheme which involves ACS representatives – including staff and students – visiting partner schools with a box of state-of-the-art technology equipment, to deliver valuable technology-based training and share expertise. Schools can also book out boxes, enabling them to experiment with a range of technology, such as Digital SLR cameras, innovative robots and VR headsets, free of charge.
During the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Graeme spearheaded a number of charitable initiatives to support communities in need. For example, the ACS community raised and donated £5,000 to the Magic Breakfast programme, which provided 13,000 meals to children of families experiencing hardship in the local communities around ACS’s three schools in the Surrey and Greater London area.
Another important aspect of ACS’s charity activity is its bursary programme which currently provides financially-assisted places to 40 students with an investment of over £1million, enabling more young people to access an ACS education. In response to the coronavirus crisis, ACS has also increased its support for its families through a financial hardship appeal and has doubled its own hardship budget for this in the coming year.
Graeme Lawrie, Partnerships Director, ACS comments:
“I am absolutely overwhelmed to be named on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for 2020 and to be awarded an MBE for my services to education. Education is an incredibly powerful tool; when delivered effectively, it can transform lives. Having worked in the education sector for more than two decades, I have seen what quality education can do for social mobility, and it makes me proud to have been be able to contribute to this throughout my career and, now, through my partnerships work at ACS.”