MBE honour for north Suffolk schools champion

Gislingham, Suffolk. Kit Wells who's been awarded a MBE in the New Year's Honour list for his work with Gislingham Primary School ANL-141231-132241001
Gislingham, Suffolk. Kit Wells who's been awarded a MBE in the New Year's Honour list for his work with Gislingham Primary School ANL-141231-132241001

A north Suffolk man who played a key role in one of the first school collaborations in the county has been honoured by being made an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Kit Wells, 48, of Gislingham, who has been a school governor for ten years, is also chairman of the Federation of Gislingham and Palgrave primary schools, and has been recognised for his services to education.

Since his involvement, Gislingham CEVC Primary School has grown from around 70 pupils to more than 110, while Palgrave CEVC Primary School has seen an increase from roughly 40 to nearly 60. The schools were rated Outstanding and Good respectively at their last inspections by regulator Ofsted.

“I’m absolutely thrilled, really pleased and delighted,” he said. “I think it is as much recognition for the hard work that the schools and governors have done.

“I am delighted to have received something.

“It was one of those things where my wife was the chairman of the playgroup and a position for a parent governor came up.

“I joined the governing body and then quickly found myself in the chair. Then then chair decided he was going and retiring to move to Kent. Very shortly thereafter and joined with the partnership with Palgrave and really it grew from there.

“It really became part of my life.”

Mr Wells said some of the benefits of schools collaborating together includes sharing resources, and cross moderation to improve standards.

In addition, they have also been able to employ a business manager to deal with the administrative side of running the schools, freeing up the headteacher, Andrew Berry, to concentrate on delivering education.

“What it is all about is how can you deliver the best possible outcomes for children with what you have got and I think that is how federations and partnerships work,” he said.

Born in London, Mr Wells grew up in Bedfordshire, and moved to Suffolk in the early 1990s to work at Stowmarket-based manufacturers and suppliers of grain malts, Muntons.

A spell in Yorkshire followed before moving to Gislingham in 1997, and for the past six-and-a-half years has run Little Green Consultancy Limited from their home with wife Kathryn.

The couple also have three children - Josie, Victoria and John.

Elsewhere on the Honours List, Nicola Mark was made MBE for her services to local government.

As well as serving as head of the Norfolk Pension Fund, Mrs Mark, who lives in the Diss area, also chairs the National Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Framework, a collaboration credited with delivering benefits to pension funds nationwide.

A Norfolk County Council spokesperson said: “Nicola’s colleagues will be thrilled by her MBE. She is widely respected around the country for her work with Norfolk Pension Fund, which is recognised as one of the leading local government pension funds.”