College Governor with long history of working in education recognised with MBE in New Year’s Honours for Services to Further Education

One of Nelson and Colne College Group’s (NCCG) Governors, Christine Kenyon, has received an MBE for Services to Further Education in this year’s New Year’s Honours.

The MBE recognises Christine’s significant contributions to and innovative impact on further education over her 35-year career, including being at the forefront of technical further education reform nationally.

Having started her career as a part-time lecturer on a number of courses at Blackpool and Fylde College in 1989 while also running a mobile hairdressing business, in 1996 Christine was appointed Curriculum Manager for Hairdressing, which she led to becoming the first hairdressing department in the country to receive an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ rating.

Christine subsequently held a range of management and senior leadership positions at Runshaw College and Blackburn College before joining The Manchester College as Vice Principal in 2014 and then being promoted to Deputy Principal in 2019. She joined the Governing Board at NCCG following her retirement from The Manchester College in September 2023.

Commenting on the MBE Christine said: “I feel humbled and proud to have received an MBE in recognition of my contributions to further education. Throughout my career I have had the privilege of working alongside so many talented colleagues and students – without whom I wouldn’t be receiving this award today.

“Further education is a door that is always open to everybody regardless of their starting point. My career started with a course at my local further education college and I am a testament to the positive impact that a further education can have on your career aspirations.

“My family have supported, encouraged and believed in me throughout my career and I can’t thank them enough. I am privileged to have worked alongside so many wonderful people and feel that I am accepting this award on behalf of them all.”

In her roles in Further Education Christine devised and implemented Employer Partnership Strategies, enabling as many students as possible to access extended and meaningful work placements to broaden their skills and prepare them for work. She was also instrumental in the national launch of T Levels, using her experience to shape strategies to encourage employers to engage in the development of the new flagship technical qualification.

As part of this Christine worked with the Department for Education and the Gatsby Foundation to champion technical education and ensure it enables young people and adults to develop the skills they need to progress to sustained employment.

Christine is no stranger to receiving Royal Honours, having been instrumental in The Manchester College being awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its ‘Careers not Courses’ strategy.

Chair of Governor’s at NCCG Phil Wilkinson commented: “As a College we are exceptionally proud that Christine’s significant and extensive contributions to further education have been recognised with a richly-deserved MBE.

“Christine’s passion and enthusiasm to both champion further education and ensure that as many people as possible are able to benefit from it are unparalleled and we are delighted that she is sharing that passion and enthusiasm with us as a key member of our Governing Board. She has already brought so much to our discussions and is supporting NCCG to further enhance its alignment between technical education and employers, ensuring that as many people as possible leave further education with the skills they will need for a successful and rewarding career.

“On behalf of everyone at the College I would like to congratulate Christine on receiving her MBE.”

The Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) is awarded for an outstanding achievement or service to the community. This will have had a long-term, significant impact and stand out as an example to others.