Lorraine Allen awarded OBE in the New Year Honours

Very many congratulations to Lorraine Allen, Principal at Whitley Academy who has been awarded an OBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list.

In the ten years as headmistress and now Principal of Whitley Academy, she has not only transformed the performance of this school and the life chances of its pupils but as a National Leader of Education (NLE) she has had a significant impact in the turnaround of seventeen under performing schools.

Lorraine has been dedicated to education since 1980 and joined Whitley in 2004. At that time, Whitley Abbey Community School, as it was then known, was in a position of near Ofsted Category and as at January 2014, has been judged by HM Inspectors to be ‘Outstanding’ in all areas, including leadership. This follows a similar rating for the school in 2010 and an ‘outstanding’ or leadership accreditation in 2009.

In recent years as a National Leader of Education she has:

  • Visited Singapore and Australia to view their best practices as part of a national leader team that has fed its recommendations in to the Department for Education.
  • Visited Russia to observe school leadership
  • Presented to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) on the Challenges of Urban Leadership
  • Instigated Whitley’s leadership of an international Comenius project helping four European schools develop a competency based curriculum
  • Attended the SSAT Conference in South Africa, a visit which resulted in her setting up a link school for Whitley in New Orleans, Paarl, which the Whitley Academy students have visited twice.

As a founding member of the RSA Family of Academies, Whitley Academy has led the school to school support agenda for RSA Academies in the West Midlands.

Lorraine said “I am surprised, delighted and honoured by the award, a big thank you for my nomination, it is very exciting. I have greatly enjoyed working as the Principal of Whitley Academy, Coventry for the last ten years, where the staff and students are fantastic. I have been lucky enough to work with and help support a number of other schools on their improvement journey, especially in the West Midlands, and in the last few years working within the RSA Family of Academies”.