Twelve individuals from the further education and skills sector are among those receiving gongs in the Queen’s New Year honours.
These include one CBE, six OBEs, four MBEs and one BEM – but no knighthoods or dames.
No serving college principals were recognised in this round of honours.
Malcolm Press, the vice chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University who also sits on the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education’s board, has been made a CBE for his services to higher and technical education.
Press previously held positions at the universities of Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester and UCL. He joined the IfATE’s board in June 2018.
Press said he felt “very honoured” to be awarded a CBE as “I passionately believe that education in all forms – academic, professional, technical and vocational – transforms lives”.
“I will continue to do my utmost to promote the importance and value of education both here at Manchester Metropolitan University, and through all the organisations in which I have the privilege of playing a part,” he added.
Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of the IfATE, added: “It is absolutely right that he [Press} has been recognised, as his work has had a transformative effect on so many people’s lives.”
Brenda McLeish, chief executive of the Learning Curve Group, is among those receiving an OBE.
She joined the company, which has become one of the country’s largest independent training providers, in 2008 and became its chief executive in 2015. She also sits on the board of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP).
McLeish said her honour is an “incredible achievement that also comes with great responsibility”.
“I will continue to ensure that we give people across the country the opportunities to gain new skills and fulfil their potential. I would like to thank the hard work and dedication of the ‘purple people’ at Learning Curve Group who have helped make this happen.”
Also picking up an OBE is another AELP board member – Sharon Blyfield.
Blyfield is the head of early careers and apprenticeships at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, with a focus on improving equality, diversity, and inclusion.
She said receiving this honour from the Queen is “incredibly humbling”.
“My thanks go to the many people who have supported me, and all those that I have worked with over the years in creating opportunities for the next generation of leaders,” Blyfield added.
Other sector figures to receive an OBE in this year’s New Year honours include Elizabeth Barrett, the principal of Academy Transformation Trust for Further Education; Stuart Edwards, lately the chair of Morley College London; Timothy Jackson, lately the principal of Sparsholt College and Andover College who is also an adviser to the FE Commissioner; and Erika Stoddart, the chair of the TEC Partnership.
Among the four recipients of MBE’s is Jennifer Taylor, the leader of early professionals programmes at IBM UK who also chairs the trailblazer group for the popular digital and technology solutions level 6 degree apprenticeship standard.
After being honoured for her services to education, Taylor said: “As a passionate advocate of the opportunities which apprenticeships provide for young people of all backgrounds, I am thrilled that my advocacy of apprenticeships has been recognised.”
Also picking up an MBE for services to FE and skills is Ian Green, the section manager at Nissan Training’s Global Training Centre and Nissan Skills Foundation; Margaret Harlock, the chair of St Brendan’s Sixth Form College in Bristol; and Sandra Prail, a governor at Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College.
Emma Beauchamp, chair of the North East Young Apprenticeship Ambassador Network, received a BEM.
Full list of FE and skills honours:
Commanders of the Order of the British Empire
Malcolm Press – Vice-Chancellor, Manchester Metropolitan University. For services to Higher and Technical Education
Officers of the Order of the British Empire
Elizabeth Barrett – Principal, Academy Transformation Trust for Further Education. For services to Education
Sharon Blyfield – Head, Early Careers and Apprenticeships, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners. For services to Apprenticeships and Skills
Brenda Edmenson-McLeish – Chief Executive Officer, The Learning Curve Group. For services to Further Education
Stuart Edwards – Lately Chair, Governing Body, Morley College London. For services to Adult and Further Education
Timothy Jackson – Lately Principal, Sparsholt College and Andover College. For services to Further Education
Erika Stoddart – Chair, TEC Partnership. For services to Education
Members of the Order of the British Empire
Ian Green – Section Manager, Nissan Training, Global Training Centre and Nissan Skills Foundation. For services to Apprenticeships and to STEM skills
Margaret Harlock – Chair of Governors, St Brendan’s Sixth Form College, Bristol. For services to Further Education
Sandra Prail – Governor, Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College. For services to Education
Jennifer Taylor – Leader, Early Professionals Programmes, IBM UK, and Chair, Digital and Technology Solutions Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship Trailblazer. For services to Education
Medallists of the Order of the British Empire
Emma Beauchamp – Chair, North East Young Apprenticeship Ambassador Network. For services to Apprenticeships and Skills