Former Sunderland schools headteacher gets OBE from Prince Charles

Mrs Philomena Marshall from Durham is made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Pic by PA.

Mrs Philomena Marshall from Durham is made an OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) by the the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Pic by PA.

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A former Wearside headteacher has been handed an OBE for her services to education by Prince Charles.

Philomena Marshall, known to all as Phil, was told she would be getting the honour in December and was today at Buckingham Palace to officially receive the gong.

Mrs Marshall was the headteacher at Sandhill View Academy in Sunderland from 1997 and then at the city’s Monkwearmouth Academy from 2004, with both improving dramatically under her leadership.

The Laidlaw Schools Trust, where Mrs Marshall recently worked as executive principal at Excelsior Academy in Newcastle, welcomed the news of her OBE.

They said she has transformed educational achievement and life opportunities for thousands of children.

She retired from her post there in December 2015 after a teaching career spanning 38 years, with 19 as a headteacher, but is still contributing her expertise to help pupils realise their full potential as the trust’s education director, supporting its academies, including Academy 360 in Pennywell.

Mrs Marshall said: “It’s very humbling and rewarding to get such recognition for doing something I’ve enjoyed doing so much.

“The whole Excelsior Academy experience has been fantastic and rewarding enough in itself, so to be recognised nationally for doing that work is surprising and makes me feel very grateful.”

The Laidlaw Schools Trust sponsor, Lord Irvine Laidlaw, said: “The award of an OBE to Phil for her services to education is fitting national recognition of her outstanding leadership and dedication shown throughout her career.”