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Woman who helped home school thousands of children during lockdown made an MBE

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:30 10 October 2020

Sarah-Jane Mintey of Developing Experts in Norwich has been awarded a MBE for her services to technology and education during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sarah-Jane Mintey of Developing Experts in Norwich has been awarded a MBE for her services to technology and education during the Covid-19 pandemic.

(C) Archant 2020

A Norwich businesswoman who helped home school tens of thousands of pupils during lockdown has been made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Sarah-Jane Mintey is founder and chief executive of Developing Experts, and has been given the honour for her services to technology and education during Covid-19.

Developing Experts has 700 science lesson plans and experiments for children between four and 14, which help schools teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and inspire pupils into future careers in the field.

Ms Mintey, 51, a former Norfolk headteacher, first developed the platform in 2015, but saw its membership soar during lockdown when it offered its lessons for free to aid schools during the crisis.

So far, more than 2,400 schools have taken up the offer and they now help educate almost 80,000 pupils around the country.

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She said: “There’s been a huge number of young people at home having to learn remotely. We are trying to think about how we can keep it fresh and exciting, without them just looking at a screen endlessly.

“We encourage them to do the practical assignments at home if that can be done safely.”

Ms Mintey, who was formerly both chief executive of the OPEN Youth Trust and curriculum designer at the Inspiration Trust, has forged links with organisations including National Rail and Vattenfall to connect learning with potential careers for pupils.

She said their goal was to “create the future talent pipeline”.

And while they have enjoyed a busy few months, she said she had no idea she would be receiving the honour.

“I heard about five weeks ago when I received an email from the cabinet office to say that the prime minister had nominated me for the award,” she said, adding that the nomination may have come through her role on the curriculum committee on the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA).

Developing Experts was named on the Tech East 100 list, which aims to put a spotlight on leading tech businesses located in Norfolk and Suffolk.


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