Case study

Honours: recipients of awards who have improved young lives

People working in education and children's services who have received an honour.

a medal

Every year, people successfully put people forward for honours from every area of education and children’s services, including teachers, social workers, foster carers, volunteers and fundraisers.

Find out how you could nominate someone from your organisation for an honour.

Nursery head

Dr Lesley Curtis OBE - Everton Nursery School and Family Centre

Under Lesley’s leadership, Everton Nursery has become internationally well known. In 2013 it was granted teaching school status along with its 4 partner primary schools.

As the head of the lead school in the North Liverpool Teaching School Partnership, Lesley has worked tirelessly with primary schools, the local authority and higher education institutes to improve teaching. For example, she took a new approach to designing an initial teacher training programme.

She is a trusted expert in her field, with a real commitment to encouraging partnership working between nurseries, schools and higher education.

Lesley is currently working with the University of Cumbria on ways to close the ‘attainment gap’ for young children.


Linda Wainwright MBE - Slade Green Infant School, Erith

Linda has worked at Slade Green Infant School for over 30 years. She is highly respected for her work with children who have emotional, social and communication difficulties. She has developed many teaching practices to help them do well at school.

She helped set up a specialist unit for children with speech, language, communication and emotional difficulties. This has helped many children to enter mainstream education.

As an expert in sign language, she established a ‘signing choir’ which performs under her direction in the local community.

Her commitment to developing staff at her own school and beyond is outstanding. She passes on her specialist knowledge and skills to others and is a mentor for newly qualified teachers.

Chair of governors

Brian Lawless MBE - Northcote Primary School, Liverpool

Brian has been a governor at schools on Merseyside for over 30 years, and at Northcote Primary School since 1984. His dedication and commitment have helped raise standards and promote opportunity for many children.

Under his chairmanship, the school invested in music provision leading to success at the Liverpool Performing Arts Festival.

He helped transform the school grounds into a thriving learning environment where children can grow fruit and vegetables for the school menu. He also supports a wide range of community-based organisations.

Foster carers

Jean and Peter Dorey MBE

Jean and Peter have been outstanding foster carers in Dorset for over 40 years.

They have had a lasting impact on the welfare of the children they have cared for, and given outstanding support to all the parents they have had contact with. Placements with them have ranged from just one night to many years, and in some cases into adulthood.

Jean has played an important part in local campaigns to recruit foster carers, as well as acting as a professional ‘buddy’ to new foster carers in her region. She is an active member of the local foster carers forum.

Jean and Peter have become role models in group training circles. They have opened their home to other carers and shared their expertise and experience.


Diana Robinson BEM - Bury Grammar School Girls

Diana retired as Head of Bury Girls Grammar School and Kindergarten in 2009, after a 38-year career in education. She has demonstrated a selfless commitment to the care of children at the school and in the wider local community.

One of her most notable achievements as head was helping to raise £3.2 million to build a new kindergarten. After retiring, she became the school’s primary liaison officer, helping arrange school visits and run the school library.

In 2009 she became Chair of the Old Girls’ Association, Bury Grammar School, inspiring former pupils to donate time and financial support to the school and to good causes in the local community.


Ashley Hall BEM - Rockland Special School, Lichfield

Between 2010 and 2013 Ashley raised £110,000 for Rocklands Special School.

Besides fundraising, Ashley spends a lot of her free time organising school activities such as gardening, cooking and cycling. The school now has its own track, complete with a range of special bikes. Ashley’s activities have increased the children’s skills, improved their stamina and promoted their general well-being.

Her fundraising has also provided iPads with special apps for children who need speech and language therapy. She also chaired the school’s parent-teacher association.


Adam Chedburn OBE - Whitley Bay High School

Under Adam’s leadership, Whitley Bay’s exam results rose from 64% of students achieving 5 A* to C grades at GCSE in 1994, to 76% in 2013.

The school achieved ‘leading edge’ status in 2003. It was awarded specialist college status in 2006, and Adam organised the building of a teaching observation gallery, which won a National Innovation Award.

During his career he was executive head of one of the first teaching schools in the country, and as a national leader of education he has mentored many successful school leaders.

Published 5 August 2015