Former Sunderland headteacher ‘humbled’ by gong in Queen’s New Year’s Honours list

Philomena Marshall
Philomena Marshall
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A former Wearside headteacher says she is ‘humbled’ by her OBE.

Philomena Marshall, known to all as Phil, has been given the award in the New Year’s Honours List for her services to education.

It is very humbling and rewarding to get such recognition

Phil Marshall

Mrs Marshall was the headteacher at Sandhill View Academy in Sunderland from 1997 and then at the city’s Monkwearmouth Academy from 2004, and both improved 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.”