AN EXECUTIVE headteacher and two chairmen of governors of special educational needs schools in Yorkshire are among those who were recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.
Gillian Robinson has received an OBE for work at Castle Hill School in Newsome, Huddersfield, for services to children with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities.
She became the school’s head when it formed through the merger of two smaller SEN schools in the town.
As headteacher of one of its predecessors, Turnshaws, and as head of Castle Hill she has led schools to four consecutive outstanding judgements from Ofsted.
She said: “I was absolutely shocked when I found out about the honour and delighted. This is my job and I go to work with a smile on my face every day so to be recognised in this way was lovely.” She started teaching in 1980 and has been working with children with SEN since 1988.
She added: “I got into SEN education through music. I had a music degree and have found music is often an effective way of communicating.
“It is not just about making a difference for the children but also their families. Parents place so much trust in you as often you will be working with children who cannot communicate what they have done during the day so you build up an amazing relationship with their parents.”
Paul Chubb, chairman of governors at The Dales School, Morton-on-Swale, in North Yorkshire, was recognised with an MBE for his services to careers education and guidance.
Mr Chubb, was latterly executive director of Careers England, has been associated with the school for the past 15 years. He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to receive the MBE, which I feel is as much a celebration of the work carried out at The Dales School as it is for the work undertaken nationally to promote quality assured career education and guidance. He added: “At The Dales School it is fantastic to see young people come into the school and watch them grow and develop, to achieve things that previously they could never attempt.”
David Peck, the chairman of governors at Ravenscliffe High School, for pupils with SEN in Skircoat Green, Halifax, also received an MBE for services to education.
*Other recipients of New Year’s Honours from the education sector in Yorkshire include Neil Clephan, the headteacher of the high performing Roundhay School, in Leeds, who received an OBE for services to education and Gaynor Clegg, a senior lunchtime supervisor at Ravensthorpe CE Junior School, in Dewsbury who received a British Empire Medal for services to education after clocking up more than 40 years of service at the same school.