Rochdale Sixth Form College Principal, Julian Appleyard awarded OBE

Our Principal, Julian Appleyard, has been awarded an OBE in recognition of his achievements in the education sector.

Mr Appleyard was announced as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire during the Queen’s Birthday Honours list on 10 June.

After being made Principal of the College in 2009, Mr Appleyard led the College to an unprecedented outstanding Ofsted inspection being the first college to go from what was “a hole in the ground” to Ofsted outstanding in all categories in their first inspection.

In addition, we made education history in January this year becoming the only college in the UK to top the Department for Education performance tables for A level progress for three consecutive years. As a result the College is a nationally recognised institution and Mr Appleyard one of only a few National Leaders of Education in the sixth form college sector.

Julian Appleyard OBE said: “I was surprised to hear the news and was shocked to receive a letter from the Cabinet Office about six weeks ago asking whether I would accept the honour. I thought it was a wind up. It is truly humbling.

“My honour is testament to the superb team I have at the College. My staff and governing body are incredibly committed and our success is very much a joint effort.”

The father of two says his proudest moment was consecutively topping the Department for Education Progress tables for a history making third consecutive year.

He added: “The College is inclusive and does not select on ability.

“Our work shows that students at the college make more progress given their start point and as a consequence young people have greater life chances.

“We are blessed to work with such fantastic and inspiring young people and take great pride in their individual successes.”

Mr Appleyard is expected to travel down to Buckingham Palace later this year to pick up his medal from the Queen, though the date has yet to be confirmed.