Headteacher wins Royal honour from the Queen

Lesley Powell.
Lesley Powell.

A headteacher is ‘delighted’ after being honoured by the Queen.

Lesley Powell, executive headteacher at the Academy at Shotton Hall in Peterlee has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her services to education.

This award represents the work of many other people particularly the staff at Shotton Hall

Lesley Powell

Mrs Powell, who is also chief executive of the North East Learning Trust, said: “I am delighted to have been awarded CBE from Her Majesty the Queen.

It means a huge amount to me and my family and I am privileged to to have been named amongst such worthy recipients.

“However, this award represents the work of many other people particularly the staff at Shotton Hall who work tirelessly to give the children of our community access to an education that can compete with the very best schools in the country.

“I’d also like to thank staff in other schools in our trust and colleagues in education across the North East and nationally who have supported me throughout the years.

“I always wanted to be a teacher and I could never imagine doing anything else, to be rewarded in this way for doing something I love is such an honour.”

Amanda Moon, chairman of governors at The Academy at Shotton Hall, said: “Lesley always considers the welfare of the children at the school as a top priority and strives endlessly to improve the opportunities on offer.

“She continues to push the boundaries so that the children can achieve great things and help improve East Durham further.

“This award reflects her determination to keep The Academy at Shotton Hall at the forefront of secondary education within the region and the country.

“On behalf of the parents and governors I congratulate Lesley on this well-earned recognition.”

Born and bred in Gateshead, Mrs Powell has worked tirelessly to ensure the children in the North East have equal access to an outstanding education with her relentless drive for excellence and determination that every child has the best start in life.

With 29 years as a teacher under her belt, she has seen it all, working her way up as a newly qualified teacher at Highfield School in Gateshead in 1988, before moving to work in schools in Manchester for 14 years and returning to her native North East 12 years ago to take up a deputy head post at Shotton Hall, where she became head seven years ago and has established Shotton Hall as a teaching school, training new teachers.

Mrs Powell is also a national leader of education, practicing Ofsted inspector, member of the regional headteacher board and member of the national secondary headteachers reference group.