The head of primary years at a Northumberland academy has been recognised with an MBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Bethan Harding, who joined Bede Academy, in Blyth, from a primary school in Cardiff last September, has been honoured for services to education.
The award recognises her contribution to school improvement in Wales and beyond.
A teacher since 2000 and a head since 2011, Mrs Harding not only led her own highly successful school but was also selected as a board member of a strategy group charged with leading teaching and learning improvements and professional development across South Wales.
She worked with academics on research that led to the establishment of School Improvement Hubs and the delivery of bespoke packages to schools in need across the region. She also worked with ministers within the Welsh Assembly, contributing to the formation of education policy.
Jonathan Winch, executive principal at Bede Academy, said: “It is Bethan’s expertise and commitment to the ethos of every child being given the opportunity to achieve, regardless of background, that made her a perfect fit for Bede Academy and the Emmanuel Schools Foundation. We are very proud now to call her one of our own in the North East.
“Strong and effective leadership is critical to a school’s success and Bethan’s experience will be invaluable within ESF as we seek to build leadership capacity in our academies for the future.”
Mrs Harding added: “I received a letter in the post telling me of the award. It was a huge surprise and I feel honoured to be receiving it. I have always worked as part of a team and I see the award as a joint honour.”
Excitement is expected to grow among the 700 students at Bede Academy Primary once Mrs Harding receives confirmation of the date of her investiture at the Palace, which is anticipated to be at the end of the year.