Pride of Portsmouth area named in Queen's New Year's Honours

THEY are the pride of our area '“ and now top teachers, fundraisers and navy officers have been given gongs to match their tireless efforts.

Friday, 30th December 2016, 10:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 4:20 am
Mary Ramsay from Farlington who has been awarded the BEM for her services to the community. Picture Ian Hargreaves (162727-1)

Hard-working leaders in their fields were stunned when they found out they had been named in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

Praise has poured in to support those who have won accolades for championing charities, teaching youngsters and keeping the country safe.

Among them is headteacher Alison Beane, whose work with children who have special needs has won her colleagues’ admiration.

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Alison Beane with pupils at The Mary Rose Academy

Now Mrs Beane is set to be honoured with an OBE – albeit to her surprise when she got the letter through her door.

She is executive headteacher of three academies in Portsmouth: Mary Rose, Cliffdale Primary and Redwood Park.

After 30 years of specialising in teaching children with special educational needs – 11 of those in Portsmouth – Mrs Beane was amazed to learn she is set to be honoured.

Speaking to The News, Mrs Beane said: ‘It did take me very much by surprise when I received the letter about three weeks ago.

Principal of Portsmouth College Steve Frampton

‘I was thrilled. For me it was great that the people who have been involved in nominating me appreciate the work we’ve been doing together.’

The mother-of-three went into teaching children with special educational needs after her daughter Sarah Beane, who is 35 and has Down’s Syndrome, started school.

Mrs Beane added: ‘When I first went into special education I was appalled because I felt that the focus was all on care and less on the learning.

‘They are children first who happen to have special education needs, and all have the rights a child has to a really great education.’

Commodore Inga Kennedy. Picture: LA(Phot) Dan Rosenbaum

She added: ‘It’s showing everybody that they’ve got a part to play and that they’ve got something to offer.’

Poignantly the gong comes at the 10-year anniversary of Mary Rose school, which has been judged as outstanding in two successive Ofsted reports.

Mrs Beane’s honour is for services to education.

‘Getting this award in this particular year is great in terms of timing,’ she said.

Alison Beane with pupils at The Mary Rose Academy

Mrs Beane, 64, of Freshwater, Isle of Wight, said she has no plans for retirement yet.

‘I keep putting it off – I have decided that when I feel I can’t give any more that will be the time,’ she said and added: ‘I love what I do.’

Mrs Beane started at Mary Rose in 2005 where she oversaw the fitting out of the school and recruitment of staff before it opened.

Another top educator named in the honours list is Steve Frampton, principal of Portsmouth College.

Mr Frampton, 58, of Gosport, is set to pick up an MBE for services to education. He said: ‘I am obviously very proud, and accept this on behalf of all my brilliant staff and students and governors.

‘It’s a huge honour for me, our college, and the city.

Principal of Portsmouth College Steve Frampton

‘I’m very, very proud and would like to thank those who supported me, my family, and my team of brilliant students and staff, governors and city partners.’ Councillor Neill Young, cabinet member for education at Portsmouth City Council, said both Mrs Beane and Mr Frampton are outstanding.

He said: ‘We have some excellent heads in this city who have done a huge amount of excellent work and particularly Alison Beane, who has supported our special educational needs provision across the city and done a huge amount of work to improve the education for young people with special needs.

‘In Steve Frampton we’ve got a college that is doing phenomenally well and supporting people to have the best possible start.’

Bookbinder Maureen Duke, who qualified in 1948, is to receive a British Empire Medal for services to the craft.

The 88-year-old, of Petersfield, has bound presentation volumes that Portsmouth City Council presented to Princess Diana in 1991, the Queen Mother in 2000 and the Queen on her 80th birthday.

Speaking to The News, Maureen said: ‘I was gobsmacked when I found out.

‘I’ve done a lot of work for Portsmouth City Council, they’ve commissioned most of the work I’ve done for royalty.’

Maureen, who has since retired from taking commissions but is still bookbinding, added carrying out the work for royalty was an honour.

‘It’s a great honour and concentrates the mind with the craftmanship, it allows one to use one’s skills, for which I’m grateful.’

But she added working on commissions for royalty has never posed a difficulty.

‘You do the best you can,’ she said.

Commodore Inga Kennedy. Picture: LA(Phot) Dan Rosenbaum