King’s Birthday Honours 2024: Damehoods for Wolf and ex-UCAS boss

More than 20 people with links to skills recognised including an MBE for an apprentice solicitor

More than 20 people with links to skills recognised including an MBE for an apprentice solicitor

A former skills adviser to the prime minister and author of a major FE review has been made a dame in the King’s birthday honours, as has a former UCAS chief executive.

Baroness Alison Wolf, author of the 2011 review of vocational report, and Clare Marchant, who left the University and College Admissions Service last year, are among more than 20 people recognised with links to further education and skills.

Other well-known figures honoured include former Department for Education apprenticeships director Peter Mucklow, college turnaround specialist Martin Sim, and the current UCAS boss Jo Saxton until last year led exams regulator Ofqual. They each received a CBE.

Alison Wolf

The honours list, published today, awarded FE and skills individuals with two damehoods, five CBEs, three OBEs, nine MBEs and four British Empire Medals.

Wolf was a key figure in the Number 10 policy unit during the pandemic, where she advised the prime minister on skills and workforce until last year. She was also a panel member of the Augar review of post-18 education and funding and the Sainsbury review which led to the creation of T Levels.

She previously led the Wolf review in 2011, which led to major 14 to 19 reforms in vocational education.

Dame Alison told FE Week she was “deeply honoured” by the recognition and is now supporting the rollout of the lifelong learning entitlement.

“I’m deeply honoured by this recognition of my work on skills, which also, of course, involved a very large number of wonderful and dedicated colleagues. The LLE, in particular, could transform the relationship between further and higher education, and the opportunities open to adults. I very much hope that the cross-party support it enjoyed will mean it fulfils its potential in the years ahead.”

Saxton said: “I will continue championing parity and opportunity for students as UCAS’ chief executive. I am also absolutely delighted to see my predecessor, the inspirational Clare Marchant, honoured today.”

Martin Sim is currently leading Bath College after several troubleshooting jobs at West Nottinghamshire College, Barnfield College, Gateway College, Nottingham College and most recently City College Southampton.

After hearing of his CBE, Sim said: “I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious award. I am fortunate and privileged to be a part this fantastic further education sector. I am eternally grateful to the many talented individuals who have supported and guided me along the way.”

Mucklow, who left the civil service last year after 25 years in education and skills, said of his CBE: “I am surprised and of course very pleased to have been recognised in this way. I want to pay tribute to everyone who has worked to build the quality and sustainability of apprenticeships and FE over the last decade – you are the heroes of the skills system.”

Arinola Edeh

Meanwhile, Westminster Adult Education Service principal and head of service Arinola Edeh was also awarded a CBE for her services to adult community education and London.

“I am truly humbled and share this honour with all my colleagues and all our inspirational learners,” she said.

Sue Pember, chief executive of Holex, said Edeh was an early adopter of the Multiply programme and championed skills for life courses and skills bootcamps.

“We are delighted that Arinola has been awarded a CBE for her exceptional contributions to adult learning. Arinola has positively impacted thousands of students and staff through her 30-year career in the public sector, with a focus on adult education.”

Also receiving a CBE was Bridgwater and Taunton College principal Andrew Berry.

Individuals in the apprenticeships sector were also recognised in the King’s birthday honours list. 

Amy Marren, a solicitor apprentice from BPP Holdings, was awarded an MBE for services to further education and apprenticeships while Thomas Culley, co-vice chair of the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network accepted a medal of the British Empire (BEM) for services to apprenticeships and skills.

Carole Thorogood, who has been Nottingham College chair since 2017, was recognised with a BEM for her services in FE over the last 18 years.

“I’m truly thrilled to have been included in this year’s the King’s birthday honours list and I draw a huge sense of pride knowing that I have played my part in a much larger ensemble cast, throughout the last 18 years, who have led the charge for further education in this city,” said Thorogood. “I’ve loved every minute of it.”

Alan Twiddy, a technician team leader who has worked at City College Norwich for 36 years, also received a BEM.

He said: “The news that I will be getting this honour came out of the blue, it was quite a surprise. I’ve just been doing my job to the best of my ability, supported by a great team of technicians. It really is a team effort. I’m not one for fame and glory, but it is appreciated.”    

See the full list of honours below:

honours list for fe and skill sector

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