Back to school: Honours for services to education

The Honours system gives us all the ability to praise and highlight those individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. If we reflect on our schooldays there is normally at least one teacher, the memory of whom is more prominent than the rest. 
Given that the doors of our schools and colleges are once again open, it seems as fine a time as any to examine the achievements of teachers and educationalists who have recently received Queen’s Honours. 
Executive Principal of Ashton on Mersey School in Sale, Vicky Beer (pictured above), was awarded a CBE for her services to education. Under her stewardship, the school has received five consecutive “outstanding” Ofsted reports. Only a handful of schools have ever achieved this quite staggering feat. Given the higher level of her honour, it is unsurprising that her achievements go above and beyond her day job. Vicky has also had an active role in developing a national programme around Teaching Schools and is co-chair of the By Schools for Schools partnership.
Fintan Donohue, a leading Hertfordshire educationalist, has been made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Mr Donohue served as principal and chief executive of North Hertfordshire College for eight years from 2005 to 2013. During this time he improved the college’s student success rates from “satisfactory” to “outstanding”. Amazingly, he also increased the number of students studying at the college by more than 1000. 
Bromley College of Further & Higher Education governor, Frank Toop, was also among the names in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He was recognised with an MBE for his services to higher and further education. Frank’s involvement in the college goes back some 11 years. The College governor also works at City University London as their University Secretary. Alongside these roles, he is currently a member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England Audit Committee.  
When considering whether to nominate someone for an honour, look not just at their achievements in the context of others, but at the impact of their life and work, and those deserving recipients will soon stand out – no matter who they are and what they do.  
For an honest opinion of your nominees chances of success call Awards Intelligence now on +44 (0)1444 230130 or email Our experts can also take care of your Queen’s honour nomination to save you valuable time and significantly increase the chances of getting a gong. 
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