Northumberland folk receive Queen’s Birthday Honours

Bede Academy students Scott Green, Eve Turner, Luke Gannie, Jasmine Krzysiak, David Skierski and Ruby Jones celebrate with head of primary years Bethan Harding, who has been made an MBE.
Bede Academy students Scott Green, Eve Turner, Luke Gannie, Jasmine Krzysiak, David Skierski and Ruby Jones celebrate with head of primary years Bethan Harding, who has been made an MBE.
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People from Northumberland are among those receiving royal recognition today.

They join famous names and national heroes on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017.

The Queen

The Queen

Zoe Frais, from Alnwick, receives a British Empire Medal for services to young people and the community in Alnwick.

A retired social worker who lives in Alnwick, she is a trustee of HospiceCare North Northumberland and a former director of Alnwick Young People’s Association.

Also awarded the BEM is Hugh Tulip, from Alnwick, who is honoured for services to cricket and the community.

Bethan Harding, the head of primary years at Bede Academy in Blyth, has been made an MBE for services to education.

She joined the academy from a primary school in Cardiff last September and the honour 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 said: “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.

Among the North East business people honoured are Louise Hunter, director of corporate affairs at Northumbrian Water Group, who is made an MBE for services to business practice and corportate responsibility; and Paul Liversidge, chief operating officer of the North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, who receives the Queen’s Ambulance Medal.

The list also includes famous names, like pop star Ed Sheeran, and Judy Murray, mother of tennis star Andy Murray. Comedian Billy Connolly was given a knighthood and actress Julie Walters was made a dame.