HIT Training boss and FE Week columnist John Hyde one of 20 FE figures recognised in Queen’s birthday honours list

John Hyde, executive chairman of HIT Training – and FE Week’s regular Raw Hyde columnist – was one of 20 FE and skills figures recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list.

He was given a CBE, along with Margaret Serna, Lincoln College chair, and Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders.

Mr Hyde’s award came as recognition of his services to the FE and training sectors in a career that has lasted more than 30 years, most recently at HIT.

He co-founded the hospitality and care sector training and apprenticeship provider, alongside managing director Jill Whittaker, in 2006.

He said: “I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of all my staff at HIT and other colleagues working to deliver apprenticeships and upskill the country.

“The satisfaction for me is seeing employees in the hotel and catering sector gain skills, confidence and competence through their apprenticeship to improve their life chances and earning potential.”

Margaret Serna copy
Margaret Serna, Lincoln College chair

Ms Serna’s CBE was for services to FE.

She told FE Week: “I am deeply honoured and very proud that I am being recognised for a role that I consider it a privilege to be able to undertake.

“I have been a board member for eight years and chair for five years now and have found working towards enriching the lives of young people through training and education a deeply rewarding and life enhancing experience.”

Mr Trobe also received his CBE for services to education.

He told FE Week: “I am delighted to have received this honour both personally and in terms of the recognition it gives to ASCL’s work in representing the voice of school and college leaders across the UK.

“It is a great privilege to represent an organisation whose members work incredibly hard to provide an excellent education for millions of young people.”

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Bobbie McClelland, deputy director, reforming FE provision, BIS

Roberta (Bobbie) McClelland, deputy director for reforming FE provision at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), was awarded an OBE for services to further and vocational education.

She said: “I was surprised and delighted to receive this award, which is recognition of the contribution made by all those I have worked with to support further education.”

A BIS spokesperson said: “We are delighted that Bobbie has been awarded this well-deserved honour, in recognition of her work on further education.

“Bobbie has been instrumental in the drive to ensure this vibrant sector creates life changing opportunities for learners and delivers the skills our economy needs to grow.”

Two sixth form college principals are among those to have received an OBE.

These are Julian Appleyard of Rochdale SFC and Pauline Hagen of New College Pontefract, both of whom were recognised for services to education.

Mr Appleyard said: “I was surprised to hear the news and was shocked to receive a letter from the Cabinet Office about six weeks ago asking whether I would accept the honour.

“I thought it was a wind up! It is truly humbling.”

Ms Hagen said she was “proud” and “grateful” for her honour.

“I’m also grateful to the team at NEW College Pontefract, for their talent, their drive and their profound commitment to our vision. This recognition will inspire us to climb more mountains!”

An OBE also went to former chief executive of the Association of National Specialist Colleges (Natspec) Alison Boulton, for services to education.

She said: “My work has always been about improving access to meaningful further education for young people with learning difficulties in order to improve their quality of life and opportunities.

“I hope it has made a difference, though I know there is still a long way to go.”


Here’s our list of FE and skills-related who have been awarded:


John Allan Hyde, executive chairman, Hospitality Industry Training – for services to the FE and training sectors

Margaret Joan Serna, chair, Lincoln College and managing director, Thames Group (UK) Ltd – for services to FE

Malcolm James Trobe, interim general secretary, The Association of School and College Leaders – for services to education



Julian Charles Appleyard, principal, Rochdale Sixth Form College, Lancashire – for services to education

Simon Paul Blagden, MBE Chairman, Fujitsu UK – for services to the economy and skills.

Alison Margaret Boulton, lately chief executive, Association of National Specialist Colleges – for services to education

Pauline Hagen, principal, North East Wakefield College, Pontefract – for services to education.

Anthony Gerard Larkin – lately director of business and enterprise, Royal National College for the Blind – for services to FE and disability sport

Roberta Ann McClelland, deputy director, reforming FE provision, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – for services to FE and vocational education

Oluseyi Oluyemi (Seyi) Obakin, chief executive, Centrepoint, commissioner, UK Commission for Employment and Skills – for services to youth skills, employment and homelessness

Enid Josephine (Josie) Teasdale, lately chair of governors, Barnsley College – for services to education in South Yorkshire

Mark White, The Chair Designate of Stockton Riverside College,  for services to education particularly in Teesside.


Members of the Order of the British Empire

Keith Charles Brown, chair, College of North East London – for services to FE

Sally Anne Evans, co-founder, Trinity Specialist College, Birmingham – for services to education

Jennifer Johnson, chief executive officer, Kids Allowed – for services to apprenticeships

Andrew Paul Morris, Teacher, Westcroft Sports and Applied Learning College and founder, Timken Vocational Training Centre and Sunbeam Enterprises – for services to special education.

Christian James Notley, UK Training Manager, Worldskills – for services to the World Skills Competitions in Leipzig 2013 and Sao Paulo 2015.

Sally Ann Obertell, director of marketing, relationships and communications, John Ruskin College, South Croydon – for services to Education


Medallist of the Order of the British Empire

Rianne Lee Chester, Worldskills 2015 gold medal winner in beauty therapy – for services to skills

Gary Doyle, Worldskills 2015 gold medal winner in plumbing and heating – for services to skills

Edward William Harringham, Worldskills 2015 gold medal winner in cabinet making – for services to skills


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