Honours for two Waltham Forest headteachers (and a rock star)

Two headteachers and a rock star from Waltham Forest have been recognised for their acheivements in the 2016 New Year’s Honours list.
Steve Lancashire

Steve Lancashire, executive headteacher at Hillyfield Academy, has been given a knighthood for services to education

Steve Lancashire, executive headteacher of Hillyfield Primary Academy in Higham Hill, was given a knighthood for “services to education”.

Sir Steve is also the founder and chief executive of REAch2 Academy Trust, which runs three schools in Waltham Forest and 50 others around the UK.

Hillyfield, rated ‘outstanding’ by watchdog Ofsted, is one of the best performing schools in the borough.

On his knighthood, Sir Steve said: “My passion for learning and education was instilled at a very early age by my parents. They taught me to believe in myself and in the power of education to change lives and bring opportunity.

“I try to bring this belief and passion to the children in our trust. They deserve no less, and it is a huge privilege to have set up and lead both REAch2 and REAch4 so that every child in our care has an exceptional education.

“Both trusts operate as a family of academies, and this Honour is testament to the hard work and commitment of every single member of that family.”

Blur frontman and Gorillaz co-creator Damon Albarn, who spent several years of his childhood living in Leytonstone, was made an OBE “for services to music”.

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn. Credit: Batiste Safont (licensed via Wikimedia Commons)

Albarn’s recent solo album, Everyday Robots, references Leytonstone with a song called Hollow Ponds. In 2014 the 47-year-old unveiled a blue plaque at his childhood home in Fillebrook Road, near Leytonstone Underground Station, where he lived in the early 1970s.

Elaine Colquhoun, executive principal at Whitefield Academy Trust, a special needs school in MacDonald Road, Walthamstow, was made an OBE “for services to education”.

The trust was formed as a result of a merger of two smaller schools in 2014 and now also runs a research and development centre to teach best practice in the field of SEN (Special Educational Needs).

Elaine is also a former president of the National Association of Special Educational Needs.