WorldSkills 2013 gold medal-winning duo Ashley Terron and George Callow have been recognised in the Queen’s 2014 Birthday honours list along with former Skills Funding Agency interim chief executive Kim Thorneywork.

Former apprentice bricklayer Ashley (above left) and cabinetmaker George (above right) were honoured with British Empire Medals for their services to skills while Ms Thorneywork (right) received a CBE for services to education, learning and skills.

Ashley, aged 21, told FE Week: “I was made up when I found out, although it’s all really rather surreal. WorldSkills was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but to be recognised by the Queen has got to be the ultimate, and at my young age — it’s amazing.”

Keith Smith, director of funding and programmes at the agency, said: “I worked very closely with Kim during her career at the agency and was always impressed with the dedication and enthusiasm she showed for education, learning  and skills.

“I am delighted for Kim and congratulate her on behalf of us all at the agency on receiving this honour, it truly is well deserved.”

Farnborough College of Technology principal Christine Slaymaker (left) was also honoured with a CBE for services to FE.

She said: “I didn’t believe this was going to happen when they told me and right up until it was announced I thought it wouldn’t — I was starting to think maybe they’d changed their mind and I wasn’t up to it.”

There were OBEs for services to FE for Gazelle Group of colleges chief executive Fintan Donohue; Northampton College governors’ chair and chair of the Association of Colleges governors’ council Roger Morris; and Barking and Dagenham College principal Cathy Walsh (below right).

“I am thrilled and surprised to receive this honour, and it is as much in recognition of the great achievements of our students, our staff team, our Corporation Board of Barking and Dagenham College and our external partners, as it is about me,” she said.

“It is a privilege to be the principal and of this great college, and it is only with and through everyone associated with the organisation that our success has been acknowledged in this way.”

A total of 19 honours were dished out to those from the world of FE and skills with former general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) John Dunford OBE topping the bill with a knighthood for services to education.

He was a mathematics teacher in Nottingham and in the north-east of England before his time at the ASCL. He was a member of the leadership team of three secondary schools in the north-east from 1974 to 1998, including 16 years as head of Durham Johnston Comprehensive School, an 11-18 school with 1500 pupils.

Sir John said: “Nobody can be awarded an honour entirely because of his or her own efforts and it has been my good fortune to have have led some exceptional teams of people at Durham Johnston School, the ASCL and the organisations I have worked with in recent years. These people deserve a big share of the credit and I pay tribute to their skill and commitment to the cause of education.

For more reaction see edition 107 of FE Week (dated Monday, June 23). From FE and skills and on the list? Email with the details.


The FE and skills-related list of Queen’s 2014 Birthday honours awards


John Dunford OBE (Leicestershire), education consultant — for services to education


Christine Slaymaker (Hampshire), principal, Farnborough College of Technology — for services to FE

Kim Thorneywork (Stourbridge, West Midlands), lately interim chief executive, Skills Funding Agency — for services to education, learning and skills

Neil McLean (Harrogate, North Yorkshire), lately chair of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership — for services to business and skills in West Yorkshire

Valerie Malvia May Todd (Woodford Green, Essex), commissioner, UK Commission for Employment and Skills and director of talent and resources at Crossrail Ltd — for services to skills training and development of young people


Fintan Donohue (Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire), chief executive, Gazelle Group — for services to FE

Roger Morris (Towcester, Northamptonshire), governors’ chair at Northampton College and chair of Association of Colleges governors’ council — for services to FE

Cathy Walsh (London), principal, Barking and Dagenham College — for services to FE

Susan Helen Walsh (Glasgow), principal, Glasgow Clyde College — for services to FE

Heather Dunk (Troon, Ayrshire and Arran), principal, Ayrshire College — for services to FE and higher education in Ayrshire

Neil Alan Hopkins (Whitchurch, Hampshire), lately principal, Peter Symonds Sixth Form College, Winchester, Hampshire — for services to education


Jacqueline Margaret Buffton (Bath, Somerset), vice governors’ chair, City of Bath College and facilitator at Bath and North East Somerset Learning Partnership — for services to FE

Susan Elizabeth Ward (Southampton, Hampshire), head of skills for life, Highbury College, Portsmouth — for services to FE and young people with mental health conditions

Roberta Austin (Cleveleys, Lancashire), Build Up centre manager, Blackpool and The Fylde College — for services to vocational education

Brynley John Davies (Wells, Somerset), lately principal, Ystrad Mynach College, Caerphilly — for services to FE, community learning and enterprise

Jacqueline Ray Howie (Barnhill, Dundee), lately depute principal, Angus College — for services to FE in Scotland

Irene Megaw (Bangor, Down), lecturer at South Eastern Regional College — for services to FE in Northern Ireland

British Empire Medal

George Walter Mark Callow (East Wittering, West Sussex), apprentice cabinetmaker — for services to skills

Ashley Terron (Warrington, Cheshire), apprentice bricklayer — for services to skills


See edition 107 of FE Week (dated Monday, June 23) for more.