A school governor who has served at Ashlawn, Rokeby and Tyntesfield schools in Rugby was surprised to learn he’s been made an MBE.
Richard Smart received the honour for services for education, and is currently chair of governors at Our Lady’s Roman Catholic Primary School, Princethorpe.
In total he served in six primary, secondary and special schools and has been respective chair of governors for 22 years. He was also appointed by Warwickshire County Council to chair the interim executive board (IEB) of two schools in difficulties in Stratford and Nuneaton.
Mr Smart said: “I got the letter informing me about the MBE from Downing Street and it was such a shock – I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I had to put it down half way through before I was able to finish it.”
He added: “I managed to keep it secret and am now waiting to hear when I’ll be able to travel to London to collect it.”
A statement from the cabinet office said of Mr Smart: “In 2004, he was chair of the IEB at Hartshill Secondary School in Nuneaton. He worked tirelessly to lift it out of special measures.
“His determination to get things done helped transform the quality of education provided.
“From the outset he has been an active member of the Governors’ Forum Steering Group, which has helped secure effective relationships between the local authority and Warwickshire governors.”
West Midlands Ambulance Service chief executive Anthony Marsh has also been named in this year’s New Year’s Honours list as a recipient of the Queen’s Ambulance Service Medal (QAM).
Mr Marsh said: “I am very honoured to have received this award. Whilst I have been extremely fortunate to receive it, this is down to the hard work of everyone involved in the ambulance service.”