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King’s birthday honours list 2023: Near 100 honoured for contributions to education and childcare

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For the King’s first Birthday Honours, we’re delighted that almost one hundred people have been recognised for their contributions to education.

The list includes foster carers, campaigners, educators and fundraisers from across the country.

“For the King’s first Birthday Honours, it’s truly inspiring to see almost one hundred awards given to those who are making a positive difference to the lives of families and people in education," said Education Secretary Gillian Keegan.

“Honours include those for Junior Frood, for his work as an anti-bullying advocate and dance teacher, Asitha Panditharatna for his work helping get disadvantaged people on the path to employment with The Forward Trust, Siena Castellon, an anti-bullying campaigner and advocate for girls with autism, and David Upjohn, who has fostered children with severe disabilities for 19 years.”

Here are a few examples of some of the brilliant people who have made an outstanding contribution to education and childcare.

Glenda Spencer MBE

The Chair of Governors at Trinity School in Essex, Glenda has supported the school to take it from an ‘Inadequate’ to ‘Good' Ofsted rating, including by setting up a scheme to support students at risk of permanent exclusion.

After her son with special needs died, she has spent a 30-year career providing services to parents of disabled children.

Junior Frood BEM

Aged just 19, Junior is an anti-bullying advocate who created the #boyscandance Point of Light award. Despite being bullied himself, Junior followed his dreams to become a dance teacher.

Cheryl Bertschi BEM

A tutor at Southend Adult Community College, Cheryl has run a soup kitchen for the homeless for the past 9 years, as well as organising Christmas present donations for under-privileged children and volunteering at night to help signpost services to people suffering from addiction.

Asitha Panditharatna MBE

As Executive Director of Employment Services at The Forward Trust and a trustee of several other charities, Asitha has helped the most people get access to employability and to fulfilling their potential.

Jill Eton MBE

Jill is driven by desire to raise the aspirations of young people as Director of Sporting Futures Training.

She has built one of the most successful School Sports Partnership in the country, developing sport, health, and wellbeing programmes. Under their leadership Sporting Futures grew from a pilot to supporting over 200 learners.

Emma Cantrell MBE

As the founder of First Days Children’s Charity, Emma helps 9000 children in poverty a year by providing essential items and 1:1 coaching for families. She arranged food deliveries in lockdown and leads a community support hub.



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