Harrogate teacher in New Years Honours list in a career which began with an ambition aged 11

A Harrogate teacher who has worked tirelessly to champion diversity in a broad-ranged career has said she was “totally shocked” when she heard she was featured in the New Years Honours list.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 10:33 am
Updated Thursday, 31st December 2020, 10:38 am
Royal honour for headteacher of vast experience - Janet Sheriff, who receives an OBE for services to Education, said she thought the email was a joke originally.

Janet Sheriff, who receives an OBE for services to Education, said she thought the email was a joke originally.

Headteacher at Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley, she told the Harrogate Advertiser: “I thought the email was a spoof at first! Now I know it is for real I am deeply honoured and proud to receive the award.”

Married to Richard Sheriff, executive Headteacher and CEO of Red Kite Learning Trust in Harrogate, Mrs Sheriff’s CV in education is deep and wide-ranging and includes taking on the role of an Ofsted Inspector alongside her role as a serving headteacher and chief executive of the Collaborative Learning Trust.

She said: “I had the ambition to become a school teacher from the age of 11.

“I was totally shocked when I learnt of the award just a few weeks ago. It has been very hard to keep it a secret these past few weeks!”

Janet has worked in school leadership, including a number of inner city schools, for more than 25 years.

IIn 2009 she was the first ever BAME secondary headteacher to be appointed in the city of Leeds and the first female headteacher in the 400+ year history of Prince Henry’s Grammar School. In 2018 she led the creation of Collaborative Learning Trust

Janet has made a significant contribution to education outside of her own school through a number of additional roles, including as a National Leader of Education, working with other school leaders across the Yorkshire region to bring about improvements in children’s education.

In addition to the National Leader of Education role, Janet is passionate about increasing diversity of school leadership and has worked for more than 10 years to make a difference in this area – including as Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Diversity Steering Group, Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Women Leading in Education Steering Group, and leader of the Lancashire and West Yorkshire Equality and Diversity Regional Hub School on behalf of the DfE.

Other local figures included in this year’s New Years Honours list include...

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Linda Grace Shears - Co-founder, Shears Foundation. For services to Charity. (Harrogate);

Janet Valerie Sheriff - Headteacher and National Leader of Education, Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Otley. For services to Education in West Yorkshire. (Harrogate)

Nigel Gibbs - Unit Head, Appeals and Review Unit, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, Crown Prosecution Service. For services to Law and Order. (Wetherby);

Dr Linda Diane Harris - Chair, Health and Justice Clinical Reference Group, NHS England. For services to the NHS. (Wetherby);

Medallists of the Order of the British Empire (BEM)

Rosemary Alexandra Gregson - For services to the community in Wetherby. (Wetherby);

John Henry Richmond - For services to the community in Ripon. (Ripon).

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