Arise, Sir Ken – ‘superhead’ is first to be knighted by Prince William

Headteacher Sir Kenneth Gibson receives his Knighthood from the Duke of Cambridge, during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Headteacher Sir Kenneth Gibson receives his Knighthood from the Duke of Cambridge, during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London. Photo credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

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SIR Ken Gibson will be a knight to remember for the future king of England.

The executive head of Academy 360 in Pennywell became the first man to be knighted by Prince William as the Queen’s grandson lead the investiture ceremony for the first time yesterday.

The teacher, from Cleadon, was awarded the honour for his services to education, having transformed two failing secondary schools in recent years.

Sir Ken was bestowed his title by the Duke of Cambridge at Buckingham Palace.

He said: “I’m just on top of the world. It was quite overwhelming.

“I was already quite nervous about it, but then when I got the tip-off I was going to be Prince William’s first knight, that just added to it.

“I know there had been some speculation in the press that he was practising with his sword, and it was just such an incredible honour to be his first knight.”

The father-of-four has been dubbed a “superhead” for the way he brings struggling schools back to their former glory.

Sir Ken, who is also headteacher of Harton Technology College in South Shields, was drafted in as executive head of Jarrow School in 2010 after Government inspectors said teaching at the secondary school was inadequate.

Last year, he also took Academy 360 under his wing after the school was also told to improve by Ofsted.

He said: “I was hoping to meet the Queen, but then I heard it was the Duke of Cambridge, and the palace press office rang the night before to tell me I was going to be his first knight.

“A dame went first, and I was second. He was very at ease and calm.”

Sir Ken was accompanied to the palace by his wife and daughters.