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New Year’s honour for Burnley school headteacher
AN EAST Lancashire woman has been granted a New Year’s honour for her outstanding services to education.
Headteacher Jane Lees, from Burnley, has been awarded a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year Honours for her work, which involved cutting bureaucracy in education.
The 58-year-old retired in September after 14 years as headteacher of Hindley High School in Wigan. During her career she was also a president of the Association of School and College Leaders and also chaired the Department for Education Bureaucracy committee.
She credited her parents, Bill and Kathleen Entwistle from Burnley’s Ridge Avenue estate and her first headteacher for launching her career.
She said: “It was my parents’ support which allowed me to be the first member of my family to go to university. I just wish that they were alive to share this honour.”
Jane attended St Augustine's primary school, Rosegrove where she says that her headteacher, Miss Winifred Hornby, was her inspiration.
She said: “Miss Hornby made all her pupils believe that they could achieve anything if they worked hard.” Jane then attended Paddock House Grammar School, Accrington where she became head girl.
More recently she was chair of the Department for Education Reducing Bureaucracy Group based in London.
The work there impacted directly on teachers and leaders in schools, freeing them up from needless form filling and government regulation. Jane said that it was a privilege to work with the many committed people on the group, the DfE staff and the Minister for Schools. She has also mentored a number of headteachers in this country, the US, Russia and Uganda through her work with the British Council and the National College of School Leaders She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be recognised by the Queen in this way. It is the icing on the cake for my career.
“I loved my job and I felt I had made a difference to the life chances and choices for my many students. My school was failing when I was appointed headteacher and it needed to be turned around. With my fantastic staff and governors we did just that.
"I am also very proud to have served as President of ASCL and to have worked on behalf of members at a national and international level.”