Head knighted in Queen’s birthday honours

KNIGHTED ... South Tyneside education boss Ken Gibson.
KNIGHTED ... South Tyneside education boss Ken Gibson.

SOUTH Tyneside ‘superhead’ Ken Gibson has been knighted in today’s Queen’s Birthday honours.

Sir Ken has been awarded the honour for his services to education – transforming two failing secondary schools in recent years.

The headteacher of Harton Technology College, South Shields, told the Gazette: “I was flabbergasted when I received the letter about the knighthood and must have read it 100 times. I still can’t believe it.

“I am so fortunate that I have been the headteacher of such a marvellous school for the past 10 years. I would like to pass on my thanks and appreciation to everyone I have ever worked with.

“My personal good fortune is only as a consequence of the stunning people in education who go the extra mile on a daily basis.”

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

While head of Harton, Sir Ken was drafted in as executive head of Jarrow School in 2010 after Government inspectors said teaching at the secondary school was inadequate.

Last September, he also took Academy 360 in Pennywell, Sunderland, under his wing – after the school was also told to improve by Ofsted.

He said: “I am still a trustee of Jarrow School and remain in close contact with a number of colleagues. The school is on the brink of becoming outstanding.

“I have also immensely enjoyed the opportunity I have had at Academy 360, where I have worked with some dedicated, loyal and caring staff over the past year or so.”

Sir Ken added: “Finally, I would like to thank my family for their unstinting support over the years.

“Between my mother Helen, brother Alan, my wife Lisa, and myself, we have worked in education in South Tyneside for 110 years.”

Martin Swales, South Tyneside Council’s chief executive, said: “Over the past few years, South Tyneside Council has made huge investments in providing the borough’s children and young people with a world-class education. Ken Gibson has played a significant part in this.

“This honour is a fitting tribute to all that Ken is doing to raise standards and strengthen education across the borough.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvez