Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to SEND

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Well-known names from the field of special educational needs and disability (SEND) are among 1,149 people recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List published on Friday 10 June

Among those made Dames of the British Empire are Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children (CDC), and Benita Refson, President of national mental health charity Place2Be.

Lenehan, who joined CDC in 2000 and became its Director in 2003, said:

I am extremely proud to accept this honour on behalf of all the children, young people and families whose lives are affected by disability or special educational needs. At a very early stage in my career I was struck by the fact that these children are often treated differently, by those who do not understand that disabled people have a voice or that they have something valuable to contribute. Working with disabled children and young people has been a great joy for me and I feel very humbled for being honoured for my career. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

Stressing that the honour is to be shared and celebrated by everyone at Place2Be, Refson said: ‘It is a significant milestone – 22 years since Place2Be was founded as a separate charity and awareness of children’s mental health awareness seems to have arrived. I consider it a privilege to have had my role in the journey to date and for the road ahead as there remains so much more to do.’

Alison Boulton, lately Chief Executive of the Association of National Specialist Colleges and Richard Hill, lately headteacher of Colnbrook Special School, receive OBEs.

SEND professionals are also well-represented among those receiving MBEs. They include Margaret Malpas, Joint Chair, British Dyslexia Association; Jane McConnell, lately Chief Executive, Independent Parental Special Education Advice; Elaine Nicholson, Founder and CEO, Action for Asperger’s; Geraldine Parris, Founder and Trustee, Children with Special Educational Needs Foundation; and Margaret Rooms, Head of Units of Sound Development, Dyslexia Action.

Among the school leaders receiving MBEs are Verita Reynolds, Assistant Headteacher and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, Codsall Community High School, and Jackie Smith, Executive Headteacher, Upland Special School.

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Special World, from Inclusive Technology, is a free website linking 125,000 special education teachers, speech therapists and occupational therapists in 150 countries. Special World readers and contributors work with children who have additional needs or special educational needs including those with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties and disabilities.

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