A LEADING figure in education has been made a Dame of the British Empire.

Maura Regan, from Sedgefield in County Durham, who has been working in the field for 43 years, was awarded the honour by Princess Anne at Windsor Castle.

Dame Maura, who is chief executive of Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust, which has schools in Darlington, Teesside and County Durham, said: “It was a wonderful experience and I feel honoured and humble to receive this in such an important year, that of the Queen’s platinum jubilee.

“I remain proud to be the CEO of Bishop Hogarth CET and for the opportunities it has afforded me. Having been in education since 1979 it is a genuine pleasure to have had a positive impact on the lives of so many children and staff over the years.”

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Raised in Fishburn, County Durham, a miner’s daughter, Dame Maura began her career in London teaching history and RE, returning to the North East to take a pastoral role before becoming deputy head pastoral and subsequently principal of Carmel College, Darlington.

As the architect of Carmel Education Trust, she became its founding chief executive having led the successful transformation of Carmel College from a single outstanding college to the lead school in a multi-academy trust.

She was awarded the OBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours for services to education. She is also a Deputy Lieutenant for County Durham.

As a result of the Bishop Robert’s plan for the diocese, the trust amalgamated with two others to form Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust, which is made up of 35 primary and secondary schools.

In her role as a national leader for education, Dame Maura and her team have supported schools across the region and nationally.

She works with the Department for Education and supported a number of trusts nationally.

She is a trustee of Schools North East, a director of The Emmanuel Schools Foundation and a governor of Durham School, and is regularly invited to address national audiences on a range of educational initiatives.

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A member of the National Advisory Group looking at recruitment and retention among teachers, she is also a member of the sub-group working with the DfE on the Opportunity North East Programme established by the Secretary of State.

She has championed the Just Change Campaign on behalf of Citizens UK (Tyne and Wear division), which seeks to ensure that free school meal children receive their full entitlement.

Passionate about making a difference, Dame Maura believes that “every child should be given every opportunity to succeed”.

She added: “Children are at the centre of everything I do and the trust works to ensure it is shaping futures and fulfilling dreams.”


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