Durham’s leaders among those honoured

MEDAL WINNER: Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, Mike Barton, who has been given the Queen's Police Medal in her birthday honours.
MEDAL WINNER: Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, Mike Barton, who has been given the Queen's Police Medal in her birthday honours.
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A EDUCATION champion, top police officer and women who have improved the lives of those most in need have been recognised in the latest round of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Former Durham headteacher Sir John Dunford, who has dedicated his career to education, has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his work in the field.

Sir John started out as a maths teacher in Nottingham and the North East before becoming a headteacher, including a 16-year stint as head of Durham Johnston School in Durham.

He later went on to serve as general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, formerly the Secondary Heads Association, for 12 years.

Last year he took up the post of the Government’s independent national pupil premium champion, which sees him work with schools and councils on the best ways to use the premium - funding for the poorest pupils - to boost the educational achievement of these youngsters.

Sir John said: “Nobody can be awarded an honour entirely because of his or her own efforts and it has been my good fortune to have led some exceptional teams of people at Durham Johnston School, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and the organisations I have worked with in recent years.

“These people deserve a big share of the credit and I pay tribute to their skill and commitment to the cause of education.”

Schools Minister David Laws said: “I cannot think of a more worthy recipient than John Dunford for such a distinguished award.”

Durham Constabulary’s Chief Constable Mike Barton was also honoured with the Queen’s Police Medal after spending more than 30 years in his career, with 28 years spent with Lancashire and the last four in Durham.

He was appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Durham, promoted to deputy the following year and served as temporary Chief Constable following the departure of Jon Stoddart, in October 2012, with the post made permanent the following February.

He has thanked his family and colleagues for their support, adding: “I would like to think the award is a massive vote of confidence in Durham Constabulary.”

Two Durham women were also among those to be recognised in the honours with OBEs.

Margaret Jane Moor, head of benefits with the benefit directorate of the Department for Work and Pensions has been given For services to people with disabilities and to charitable fund-raising, while Rachael Shimmin, corporate director of Children and Adult Services at Durham County Council has been given hers for services to social care.