'So many people who are much more deserving' says Hartlepool teacher after OBE award

A humble headteacher has been recognised in the latest Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 11:00 pm
Hartlepool headteacher John Hardy is to receive an OBE for his services to education.
Hartlepool headteacher John Hardy is to receive an OBE for his services to education.

John Hardy, headteacher at St John Vianney Roman Catholic Primary School, in King Oswy Drive, Hartlepool is to receive an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to education.

But humble Mr Hardy has said being on the list, which was published on Friday evening, made him feel a bit embarrassed as “there are so many people who should be on it”.

He said: “It’s a bit embarrassing. There are so many people who should be on it and you wonder why you’re on it.

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Former Hartlepool resident Philippa Gregory is to receive a CBE in the new Queen's Birthday Honours list.

"I think more or less everyone I know should get a medal after this pandemic.

"You really think ‘there are so many people who are much more deserving’.”

Mr Hardy continued: "It feels strange, especially when you work in a school, you’ve watched the community struggle through this pandemic.

"Teachers, and support staff, and everybody connected with school have way above and beyond than what’s expected of them to help out.

"You think all these people should be getting medals for what they’ve gone through in the last year and a bit."

Mr Hardy, who is from East Boldon and who also taught at St Anne’s Roman Catholic Primary School, in Sunderland, admitted: "I’ve told no one. It’s too embarrassing to tell people.

Yet he added that a special celebration might be in store for pupils at his school when they find out.

He said: "They’ll think it’s ever so hilarious too, I would imagine.”

Another person with Hartlepool connections to receive an award in the latest list is English historical author Philippa Gregory.

Ms Gregory, whose better known novels include The Other Boleyn Girl, which was later adapted as a hit movie, is made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to literature and charity both in the UK and the Gambia.

She previously lived in Hartlepool.

Elsewhere, England international football duo Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson, who is originally from Sunderland, are to receive an Member of the British Empire (MBE) award each.

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