Blackpool and The Fylde College (B&FC) Head of Student Support and Wellbeing awarded MBE in New Year Honours list
Published on 21/12/2018 by pfi
An educator who has supported thousands of Fylde Coast students to achieve success has received an MBE for Services to Education in the Queen’s New Year Honours.
B&FC Head of Student Support and Wellbeing, Dr Judith Poole, has more than 30 years’ experience in further and higher education, initially as a linguistics lecturer and latterly in her role leading a diverse service to support students.
Judith has worked at B&FC for more than 25 years, having come from Lancaster University, and played a key role in the partnership between the two institutions - which has since seen more than 10,000 degrees conferred in Blackpool.
Over the last decade, she has been Head of Student Support and Wellbeing at the College, a role which sees her leading a large staff team to provide support for students with disabilities, learning difficulties and other perceived disadvantages. Judith said:
“It gives me great pleasure to accept this honour. I am both thrilled and humbled that the work I am so committed to and passionate about has been recognised in this way.
“First of all, I would like to thank my family, the College’s senior management team and all the teams of people I have worked with over the past 30 years, all of whom have played a part in me being awarded this great honour.
“I would especially like to thank and acknowledge the part played by my current team - Student Support and Wellbeing - for the fantastic work they do every day to help the students we support to be the very best they can be.”
Judith has achieved a first class honours degree, Master’s degree and Doctor of Philosophy degree from Lancaster University together with a PGCE teaching qualification. She is a qualified Mindfulness Ambassador, an Academic Resilience Facilitator, Safeguarding Trainer and leads the Autism Education Trust’s post-16 Training Hub based in B&FC and which covers the entire North West region.
She leads B&FC’s safeguarding provision, which sees her work with local, regional and national safeguarding bodies, and sits on various boards and committees. Judith plays a leading role in ensuring equality and diversity across B&FC and is passionate about fairness of access and equal opportunities for all.
Some of Judith’s key achievements in her role at B&FC include:
- 2016: Carer’s Trust individual award - B&FC named Educational Establishment of the Year
- 2017: National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) individual award for leading on widening participation initiatives and support for disadvantaged students. B&FC commended for Outstanding College of the Year, plus HE Institution of the Year.
- 2017: National Autistic Society commendation for achievement by an individual education professional.
- 2017: Joint winner of National Association of Managers of Student Services for Inspirational Leadership, with B&FC’s Student Services manager.
- 2018: B&FC recently won the category Excellence in Further Education for Support by the Standalone charity - for supporting students in higher education who are estranged from their families.
Bev Robinson OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Blackpool and The Fylde College, added:
“Judith is very deserving of this honour as demonstrated by her commitment to the students she supports, her staff team and her many community roles outside her day-to-day work at B&FC.
“She has been continuously recognised by her peers in the sector for leading an outstanding student support service at B&FC and her team regularly wins awards for its provision.”
“This honour is a fitting recognition of the excellent work her entire team does to support students at B&FC. On behalf of everyone at the College, I would like to offer Judith my warmest congratulations and sincerest gratitude for the work she does.”
By quirk of fate, this year marks the 50th anniversary of a previous visit to Buckingham Palace for Judith, when she accompanied her aunt Gwen Phillips as she picked up an MBE for her own community service.