Headteacher meets the Queen to receive MBE honour for his work
- Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images
The Queen has officially made a Norfolk headteacher an MBE for his services to education.
For more than 30 years Ian Clayton has strived to improve young people's education across the county.
His hard work and dedication was officially recognised in January when he was made an MBE in the New Year's Honours list. And on Tuesday the Thorpe St Andrew School and Sixth Form principal was invited to Buckingham Palace to receive his honour from the Queen.
Mr Clayton said: 'It was quite an amazing experience and I was not sure what to expect.
'There were 58 other recipients and the opportunity to speak with them was the most humbling experience because you hear about people who are doing some amazing work. The Queen was the most charming and interested person.
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'She knew that I was a headteacher and was asking lots of questions about the school.'
The 58-year-old, of Lowestoft, said he had always wanted to become teacher and started his career aged 22 at a school in Essex.
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He moved to Norfolk in the mid-1980s where he started at Oriel High School in Gorleston.
Since then he has worked at Acle High School and in 2000 he was drafted in to Costessey High School to help lift it out of special measures.
In 2001 he became head teacher of Thorpe St Andrew School and has been there ever since.
The school was given an 'outstanding' rating by Ofsted in 2014. Mr Clayton said: 'In my opinion it is still the most privileged job that exists. You are here working on behalf of young people and you are trying to get their lives in shape to help them move on.
'I have seen lots of changes in education but the most important bit, whatever the polices are, is about how that works on the ground.'
Mr Clayton has also been the chair of the Norfolk Heads Association and was Norfolk's first local leader of education. Linda Steynor, chairwoman of governors at the school, said: 'He really is an outstanding leader, who thinks not of himself but of the students and the wider community. He has worked his socks off to make sure we remain an outstanding school.'
Do you know of someone in Thorpe St Andrew who deserves recognition? Call Luke Powell on 01603 772684.