A Coventry-born headteacher received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Joan Deslandes, ex-pupil of President Kennedy School and Whitmore Park Primary School, made the Queen’s list.
She is the daughter of Jamaican immigrants Joyce and Melbourne Deslandes, who came to work in Coventry’s booming car industry in the 1960s.
Joan, awarded an OBE for her services to education, is headteacher of Kingsford Community School, an East London school.
The school says: “Under Joan’s leadership which OfSTED have repeatedly rated as outstanding, Kingsford was the first school in the United Kingdom to introduce compulsory Mandarin to its curriculum. In 2012 Hanban, a sector of the Chinese government named her school the best Confucius Classroom in the world.
“Throughout her illustrious career in education and teaching, Joan has focused on the development of social capital and social mobility for children from deprived backgrounds by raising aspirations of young people and ensuring excellent academic provision in some of the most socio-economically deprived areas in London.
“Joan has coupled her work as headteacher with other important appointments namely a number of government advisory boards, including the Independent State Schools Partnership Forum, the Teachers’ Standards and Headteachers’ Standards advisory groups for England.
“Joan is a founding trustee of the College of Teaching and governor at the country’s most successful Free School, the London Academy of Excellence. Notably as a state headteacher Joan has fostered excellent partnerships with the independent sector and is a governor of one of the country’s leading independent schools Brighton College with whose Headmaster Richard Cairns, Joan has collaborated in some of the country’s most ground breaking educational ventures.
“Named a number of times by London’s Evening Standard newspaper as one of London’s most influential educational thinkers, Joan gained her first degree at the UCL Institute of Education and has an MA in Educational Studies.”