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Friday, 15 June, 2001, 23:03 GMT 00:03 UK
Top honour for go-ahead head teacher
Kevin Satchwell
Kevin Satchwell: "Humbled"
One of England's most successful - and business-focused - head teachers has been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours.

Keven Satchwell, head of Thomas Telford School in Shropshire, said he was "extremely humbled" by the award.

"Chaps like me, who come from a working class background, one of seven kids - my mum still lives in a council house in Wednesbury - you just don't think things like this are ever going to happen to you," he said.

Sir Kevin spent 15 years teaching in Liverpool and four as a head teacher in Wolverhampton. But it is his stewardship of Thomas Telford over the past 10 years that has put him in the spotlight.


The technology college last year became the first non-selective state school in which all the GCSE/GNVQ candidates got top grades.

This year it has been in the headlines again because of its success in selling its online information technology course to other schools - bringing in so much money it can afford to put 1m into the formation of one of the new city academies.

Sir Kevin can see that this might find favour with a Labour government committed to raising standards in secondary schools and encouraging innovation and enterprise, but he regards himself as simply a pragmatist.

"If something comes in from this government or the previous one that I don't agree with it goes into that round filing cabinet under the table," he said.

But he thinks the next 10 years is going to be "a very exciting time in education".

"I think there are going to be lots more Thomas Telfords around."

  • Sir Kevin Satchwell will be taking part in a BBC News Online Forum at 1430BST on Wednesday 20 June. Click here to quiz him about his success and his thoughts on the future of secondary education.

    The man who put 2m into the establishment of another city technology college - Emmanuel College in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear - is also knighted.

    Peter Vardy, chairman of Reg Vardy Motors, was one of those consulted by government advisors before the city academies scheme was announced last year.

    Controversial figure

    Knighthoods also go to two university vice-chancellors.

    Professor George Bain of The Queen's University, Belfast, was appointed in 1997 to chair the Low Pay Commission and was involved in the establishment of the first national minimum wage.

    When he arrived at Queen's, he began a controversial restructuring which demanded that all academic staff prove themselves in research, or lose their jobs.

    Initially 100 staff members were threatened with redundancy and a number of departments were earmarked for closure. He said it was the way to improve standards of research and teaching.

    Behaviour modeller

    Professor Alan Geoffrey Wilson became vice-chancellor of the University of Leeds in 1991.

    Professor Sir Alan Wilson
    Professor Sir Alan Wilson: Human touch
    He is one of those who have transformed human geography through the development and application of computer models to predict human behaviour.

    These models have been used by such diverse organisations as supermarkets, banks, hospitals and car dealers, for example by providing advice on prime locations and what to stock to achieve maximum sales. This work has been exploited commercially by Leeds through its spin-off company, GMAP.

    On becoming Sir Alan for his services to higher education, he said: "I am very surprised, very pleased and hope it reflects well on the university."

    The architect of the national numeracy strategy in primary schools, Anita Straker, is made a Companion of the Order of the Bath.

    Special head teachers

    Wendy Davies, head teacher of Selly Park Technology College for Girls in Birmingham, is made a Dame of the British Empire (DBE) for her services to education.

    When she took on the headship at Selly Park in 1986 the school was down for closure, but now it is thriving - 62% of pupils get five GCSEs grades A* to C, compared to just 5% in 1989.

    The school serves girls aged 11 to 16 from a "disadvantaged" area - half are eligible for free school meals, more than 80% are from ethnic minority groups and 60% do not speak English as their first language at home.

    She puts the improvement of the school down to getting to grips with information and communication technology, employing the right teachers and doing a lot of one-to-one work with pupils.

    On Saturday mornings she and her two deputies give extra tuition to Year 11 pupils as they prepare for their GCSEs.

    Dame Wendy said she was delighted with the award, saying it was recognition of where Selly Park had come from and where it was now.

    "It proves that the strategies we've been using work," she said.

    "I'm astonished, it's something I'd never ever dreamed of - I just can't express it.

    "But we've all worked together, so it's not really for me but for the staff, governors, pupils and parents too," she stressed.


    The other DBE in education goes to another head teacher, Dela Smith of Beaumont Hill School in Darlington, Co Durham, which caters for children aged five to 19 with a range of special needs.

    dela smith
    Dela Smith: Extra special head
    With another local school, Abbey Hill, it formed one of the first successful special schools bids to achieve technology college status, and it helps other mainstream schools in the area to include pupils with special educational needs.

    "I'm still reeling," the head said of her award. "I feel absolutely stunned, and very humbled as well because it's such a tremendous honour."

    She plans a big party.

    "Everyone will be invited because this is about everybody - nobody can do anything without the support of colleagues and I've got some special colleagues," she said.

    She has taught special needs pupils throughout her career - her enthusiasm kindled when she looked at remedial education when studying for her education degree. She is also on the national advisory group on special educational needs.

    "It's stimulating work, it's so diverse," she said. "There is so much happening that every day is different, every child is an individual."

    In all, education accounts for about a tenth of the birthday honours. Ten people - mostly head teachers and college principals - are made CBEs, and there are numerous OBEs and MBEs.

    The National Day Nurseries Association has been singing the praises of its chief executive, Rosemary Murphy, who gets an OBE for her work in early years education.

    The association's chair, Sarah Carr, said: "This is really wonderful news that Rosemary's hard work on behalf of the association has been rewarded in this way. This takes the NDNA into another sphere."


    Professor George Sayers Bain. Vice Chancellor, The Queen's University of Belfast. For services to higher education and to the Low Pay Commission. (Belfast)

    Professor Donald Neil MacCormick, MEP, QC. Regius Professor of Public Law, University of Edinburgh. For services to Scholarship in Law. (Edinburgh)

    Kevin Joseph Satchwell. Headteacher, Thomas Telford School, Shropshire. For services to Education. (Nr Wolverhampton, Staffordshire)

    Peter Vardy. Chairman, Reg Vardy plc. For services to Business and to Education in North East England. (Durham)

    Professor Alan Geoffrey Wilson. Vice Chancellor, University of Leeds. For services to higher education. (Leeds, West Yorkshire)


    Mrs Anita Straker, OBE. Director, Key Stage 3 Strategy, Department for Education and Employment. (Hampshire)


    Mrs Wendy Patricia Davies. Headteacher, Selly Park Technology College for Girls, Birmingham. For services to education. (Solihull, West Midlands)

    Professor Lesley Howard Rees. Director of Education, Royal College of Physicians. For services to medical education. (London, NW3)

    Mrs Dela Smith. Headteacher, Beaumont Hill Special School, Darlington. For services to education for children with special educational needs. (Heighinton, Durham)


    Walter Kenneth Brown. Principal, Liverpool Community College. For services to further education. (Huyton with Roby, Merseyside)

    James Thomson Donaldson. Lately chief inspector, Further Education Funding Council. For services to education. (Kenilworth, Warwickshire)

    Keith Ronald Hirst. Lately Chair, Sandwell TEC. For services to Education, Training and Enterprise in the Black Country. (Bromsgrove, Worcestershire)

    Mrs Margaret Iles. Headteacher, St Mary's and St Peter's Primary School, Teddington, Surrey. For services to education. (Hampton, Middlesex)

    Alasdair Uist Macdonald. Headteacher, Morpeth School, Tower Hamlets, London. For services to education. (London, SE3)

    Douglas Marr. Headteacher, Banchory Academy. For services to secondary education in Scotland. (Alford, Aberdeenshire)

    Christopher John Nicholls. Headteacher, Moulsham High School, Chelmsford, Essex. For services to education. (Witham, Essex)

    Graham Spencer Stirling. Lately chairman, Prosper. For services to education and training in Devon and Cornwall. (Plymouth, Devon)

    Professor Joan Kathleen Stringer. Principal and vice-patron, Queen Margaret University College. For services to higher education. (Edinburgh)

    James Robertson Graeme Wright, DL. Lately Vice-Chancellor, University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. For services to higher education. (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear)


    Syed Nawazish Bokhari. Principal, Ernest Bevin College, Tooting, London. For services to education. (Ewell, Surrey)

    Patrick Dominic Bryon. Lead Assessor, National Professional Qualification for Headship. For services to Education in Wales. (Llanishen, Cardiff)

    Mrs Dorothy Patricia Corrin. For services to Education and to Charities on the Isle of Man. (Douglas, Isle of Man)

    John Frederick Coulthard. Headteacher, Wensleydale Middle School, Blyth, Northumberland. For services to Education. (Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear)

    Professor Margaret Josephine Cox. Professor of Information Technology in Education, King's College London. For services to Education. (Guildford, Surrey)

    Miss Kate Doherty. For services to Education. (Enniskillen, Fermanagh)

    William Glyndwr Edmunds. Principal, Deeside College, Flintshire. For services to Further Education. (Ruthin, Denbighshire)

    Peter Brian Elliott. Chairman, Governing Body, Northumberland College. For services to Further Education. (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear)

    Professor Robert Stewart Fowler. Lately Principal and chief executive, Central School of Speech and Drama. For services to Higher Education. (Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire)

    Trevor Greenwood. For services to Education. (Carrickfergus, Antrim)

    John Guy. Principal, Farnborough Sixth Form College, Hampshire. For services to Education. (Camberley, Surrey)

    Clifford Hardcastle. For services to the community, especially Education, in South East London. (Shortlands, Kent)

    Derek Alfred Heasman. Headteacher, Dollis Junior School, Mill Hill, London. For services to Education. (Stanmore, Middlesex)

    Peter Hollis. Headteacher, Oaklands Community School, Southampton, Hampshire. For services to Education. (Southampton, Hampshire)

    Paul Hopkins. Headteacher, St. Gabriel's RC High School, Bury, Lancashire. For services to Education. (Bury, Lancashire)

    Richard Owen Phillips Jones. Head, Amman Valley School, Ammanford. For services to Education. (Pontarddulais, Swansea)

    Gordon David Mackenzie. Headteacher, Balwearie High School, Kirkcaldy. For services to Secondary Education. (St Andrews, Fife)

    Mrs Rosemary Murphy. Chief executive, National Day Nurseries Association. For services to Early Years Education. (Huddersfield, West Yorkshire)

    William Brian Parker. Principal Community Education Officer, Coventry, West Midlands. For services to Education. (Coventry, West Midlands)

    Professor Christine Pascal. Chair, Early Childhood Education, Centre for Research in Early Childhood, University College Worcester. For services to Early Years Education. (Nr Bromsgrove, Worcestershire)

    John Joseph Pike. Lately Chair, Greater Nottingham TEC. For services to Education and Training. (Edwalton, Nottinghamshire)

    Ms Yvonne Rose. Governor, East Yorkshire College, East Yorkshire. For services to Further Education. (Bedale, North Yorkshire)

    Brian Smith. Chief executive, Lite-On Ltd. For services to Education and Training. (Bangor, Down)

    John Louis Charles Raymond Shurmer-Smith. Dean, Faculty of the Environment, University of Portsmouth. For services to Higher Education. (Southsea, Hampshire)

    Mrs Carolyn Swain. Lately Principal manager, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. For services to Education. (Sutton, Surrey)

    Christopher Paul Turner. Principal, Brixham Community College, Devon. For services to Education. (Nr Kingsbridge, Devon)

    Professor Thomas Black Wilson. Principal, Glasgow College of Building and Printing. For services to Further Education. (Bishopbriggs, Glasgow)


    George Allan Alexander. Technology Teacher, Rossie Secure Unit, Montrose. For services to Craft and Design Education. (Forfar, Angus)

    Thomas Baker. Teacher, Red Rose Primary School, Chester-Le-Street, County Durham. For services to Education. (Chester-Le-Street, Durham)

    Suzanne Louise Bardgett. Project director, Holocaust Exhibition, Imperial War Museum. For services to Holocaust Education. (London, N1)

    Mrs Sian Bates. Lately Deputy chief executive, AZTEC, London. For services to Training and Education. (Hampton, Middlesex)

    Miss Janet Bradford. Deputy Registrar, Southampton Institute of Higher Education. For services to Higher Education. (Southampton, Hampshire)

    Mrs Christine Mary Bromwich. School secretary, Murston Junior School, Sittingbourne, Kent. For services to Education. (Sittingbourne, Kent)

    Mrs Valerie Brown. Foster Carer. For services to the Islington Parents of Children with Special Educational Needs. (London, N1)

    Robert Burn. Lately Caretaker, Highgate Primary School, Haringey, London. For services to Education. (London, N6)

    Michael John Butler. Head of Security, University of Birmingham. For services to Higher Education. (Shrewsbury, Shropshire)

    Mrs Marion Crosbie. Member, Education Department, HM Prison Dartmoor. For services to the Rehabilitation of Offenders through Education. (Yelverton, Devon)

    Albert Edward Curran. Teacher, St Michael's School, Billingham, Teesside. For services to Education. (Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire)

    Victor Ecclestone. Director of Multi A, Bristol Education Authority. For services to Art in Education. (Whitchurch, Bristol)

    Mrs Rita Gillian Fickling. Site Agent, Farley Junior School, Luton, Bedfordshire. For services to Education. (Luton, Bedfordshire)

    Edmund Joseph Fox. Tutor, Lancashire Governors' Training Programme. For services to Education. (Preston, Lancashire)

    Susan Margaret Frost. Director, Caledonian Award. For services to Young People with Special Educational Needs. (Lenzie, Dunbartonshire)

    David John Greenwood. Headteacher, Sir John Mogg School, Detmold, Ministry of Defence. For services to Children's Education. (Germany)

    Mrs Dorothy Grey. Childminder. For services to Early Years Education in Wandsworth, London. (London, SW11)

    Mrs Maureen Groves. For services to Higher Education. (Newtownards, Down)

    Mrs Sophia Raphael Harkness. Teacher, Penpont Primary School, Dumfriesshire. For services to Education. (Thornhill, Dumfries)

    Mrs Linda Mary Harris. Nursery Nurse, Three Crowns Community Special School, Walsall. For services to Children with Special Educational Needs. (Walsall, West Midlands)

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    21 Mar 01 | UK Education
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