Billingshurst woman named on New Year's Honours list for 'outstanding contribution to education'
The CEO of the University of Chichester's Academy Trust has been named on the Queen’s 2020 New Year’s honours list.
Sue Samson, from Billingshurst, said she was 'delighted to have been recognised', as she is set to become a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her 'outstanding contribution to education'.
Her citation read: "Ms Samson has overseen the significant growth of the University of Chichester Academy Trust since its inception in 2012, developing a multi-academy model of 15 schools that educate more than 5,000 children.
"With the backing of the University of Chichester’s 180-year heritage of training teachers, she has created a vibrant, inclusive, and aspirational family of academies, transforming life chances for pupils through excellent teaching and learning."
Sue said the children she has worked with are the 'true hero’s' and she was accepting the honour 'on their behalf'.
She added: "It is a validation of the commitment of so many teachers and headteachers that I have worked with and the fantastic achievements of so many children.
“Education has the power to shape lives, the ability to change our perceptions, and open doors to a bright new future – that is why I am so passionate about it.
"I absolutely love my job, and it is a real privilege to work with such amazing headteachers and university staff who are all as passionate as I am about raising aspirations and enriching lives.”
The educationalist is a former director of Academies for London and the South East for the Department for Education.
University of Chichester vice-chancellor professor Jane Longmore said: “As chair of the University of Chichester Academy Trust, I am delighted at this well-deserved recognition of Sue’s phenomenal contribution to the work of our organisation.
"We make a positive difference to children’s lives across the region and will continue to do so under such committed leadership.”
According to her citation, Sue was inspired by her father, a headteacher and 'much-loved role model'.
It added: "After she trained as a teacher she dedicated her working life to children who needed it most.
"Sue taught in deprived communities, she taught young offenders and also young people with emotional and social difficulties, and loved every moment of it. She was determined to make a difference to their lives through education.
"Following a number of years working in West Sussex Local Authority, training teachers and headteachers and inspecting and advising schools, she moved into a national role leading on 14 to 19-year-old education and ultimately supporting the government’s policy to develop academies and free schools."
Sue is now using her 'wide skills and educational experience' to lead and develop schools 'to be the best they can be'.
Her citation continued: "She has developed a special collaborative culture of learning and development across a group of 15 schools, a teacher training provider and University which has a strong education heritage."