Academy trust heads awarded in Queen’s Birthday Honours

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Two multi-academy trust leaders have received honours from the Queen for their work in education.

Martyn Oliver, chief executive of multi-academy trust Outwood Grange, has been given a knighthood for his services to education on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

And Lee Mason-Ellis, chief executive of The Pioneer Academy (TPA) based in London, Brighton, Surrey and Kent has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his work improving schools.

The Outward Grange trust sponsors 40 schools across the north of England, while TPA includes 14 primary, junior, and infant schools.

“Whilst I am truly humbled at receiving this most prestigious award, it has been my honour to serve so many children and to raise the standards of their education, working alongside some of the most dedicated and committed colleagues you could wish for. This is a tribute to all at Outwood.”

Sir Martyn was appointed to lead the trust in 2016 and has been in charge as it took on new schools to double in size.

Out of 20 schools that have joined the trust, six joined after the collapse of the Wakefield City Academies Trust, while Outwood has also set up a free school in Middlesbrough.

David Earnshaw, chairman of the trust, said: “We are very proud of Martyn and his recognition in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“He always demonstrates leadership by both precept and example; everyday he is dedicated to upholding the best educational principles, which everyone in the Outwood family follows, just as he does at all times.”

It has since been labelled “outstanding” in all areas by the education watchdog Ofsted.

Mr Mason-Ellis also drove to the Poland-Ukraine border to deliver supplies after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while schools across the trust raised more than £17,000 to help those affected by the war as a result of his efforts.

He said: “I am delighted and overwhelmed to be awarded this honour.

“I hope this achievement will show children at all schools across the trust that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.

“I truly believe in the power of education to transform lives, and throughout my career I have strived to make sure that children in schools that I have taught in, and led, have the absolute best start in life.”

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