12 June 2018

Awards of the highest honour

By Richard Gill, CEO, ATLP.

I am so proud and privileged to share the news that my much loved and respected colleague and friend, Sue Bailey, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours!

Sue, who is assistant headteacher and PE teacher at Arthur Terry and ATLP safeguarding lead, has received the royal seal of approval for her service to vulnerable young people and families in the West Midlands. And what a worthy recipient she is.

Sue is a dedicated professional who has devoted more than 40 years to school and community life, through her work in education, children’s centres and charities. Those of you who have met Sue (and there are so many of you across our partnership) will appreciated that her generosity knows no bounds. If you need support, as a student or staff member, Sue will be there with a smile on her face and a shoulder to lean on. Arthur Terry executive headteacher, Neil Warner, has described Sue as the “beating heart” of our school community.

Sue touches the hearts of those she meets and has a profound and positive impact on so many young lives. We often talk of legacy in this profession – it was a core theme at the recent West Midlands Leaders Conference that I and many ATLP leaders attended.

This legacy is the ability to transform lives – to keep children, safe, nurtured and educated. To extend our reach beyond the school gate. To create cohesive learning communities, bringing people and families together.

And Sue’s legacy spans across generations. ATLP social media channels have been a buzz with  heartfelt messages of congratulations from former and current students, staff and families. They have all reflected on what a kind, inspirational and giving teacher Sue is.

On the theme of royal, red carpet moments,  I must congratulate all the students who recently visited Buckingham Palace as part of their Gold Duke of Edinburgh activities, including the Teaching School’s Paul Withey who was honoured for 13 years’ service to the DofE, inspiring and supporting young people.

Our staff are truly remarkable! They go the extra mile to ensure children’s lives are enriched.  We come together with a shared vision and values – whether it is last week’s ATLP primary school computing challenge or our three Erdington ATLP academies joining together for the Rights Respecting School Award – an empowering UNICEF movement that puts children at the heart of schools in the UK.

We celebrated this landmark venture at a launch event at Slade, with children from ATLP schools, staff, governors and MP Jack Dromey. Jack talked about children’s rights to a good education, before joining in a spot of Bhangra dancing with students from Stockland Green.

I hope you will join me in congratulating Sue Bailey on her MBE. She would be the first to remind me in her humble, unassuming style, that she’s just doing her job and that it is our honour to serve our schools and communities.