Dr Lorna Cork is now Dr Lorna Cork MBE. The first person I told was my dear mother. Her response, in true Jamaican style was: “Oh my Lord, sweet, sweet Jesus.”
I’ve received the award for services to education. You may have read my profile…over 20 years in education, which I have absolutely LOVED; a classroom teacher, senior leader, education research, working with Birmingham School Improvement Service and a book about different models of support for black pupils and parents, published by Routledge.
I understand that the MBE recognises service that’s exceptional in some way and the citation for the award specifically mentions the ‘Yes We Will’ programme, the Leadership and Achievement Programme I have created and led, inspired by Obama’s trailblazing entry to the presidential campaign.
In reality, I have developed Yes We Will over the lifetime of my work in the education sector; mainly in what would be described as the ‘inner cities.’ What is distinctive about my approach is that I work IN schools, using my professional and leadership experience and Ofsted training in coaching heads of department, supporting senior and middle leaders, motivating the young people and I work OUTSIDE of the schools with parents, business people and community organisations.
Through the Yes We Will, I have initiated opportunities for powerful collaborations to inspire and maximise the achievement of all concerned. Lawyers, authors, journalists, charities and others have supported children and families. The extension of the programme to International Women’s Month “Yes Women Will event in March this year was a development which illustrated very forcibly that learning really IS for life.
I can’t wait to see the look on my mother’s face when I take her with me to Buckingham Palace.
I'd just like to say a big thank you to all the well-wishers who have telephoned, tweeted, texted and sent warm congratulations by email and Facebook. This is one I found especially touching:
"You should make the most of this honour as recognition of the hard work you have done in Birmingham, well above the requirements of your post, and the moral courage you have shown to persevere and show leadership when things have not been easy for you or other professionals who appreciate the significance of the work you are engaged in…I have no doubt that Yes We Will and it its offshoot Yes Women Will, will leave a positive legacy."
Paula Elenor, Independent Education Consultant