Richard Ludlow, chief executive of Ebor Academy Trust, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to education.
Mr Ludlow said: “I am thrilled and humbled – and I see the honour as recognition of a magnificent team effort. Ebor has achieved a lot and I want to pay tribute to the dedicated and hard-working people I am privileged to lead. Both at our schools and in our central team, we all share a commitment to the children and young people in our care. Our pupils have a single chance at their education and it is our key aim to ensure their experience at school is fulfilling, enriching and relevant.”
Ebor was set up in December 2013 initially to support Haxby Road Primary School, which for the previous decade had suffered a string of poor inspection reports. At the time Mr Ludlow was headteacher at Robert Wilkinson Primary School in Strensall and he galvanised a team to embark on a relentless drive to improve outcomes.
Haxby Road earned a “Good” rating by Ofsted three years later and inspectors praised the school for the “exciting learning” taking place. At the time Mr Ludlow said it vindicated the methods and processes put in place to turn around the school and put it on the right path for continuing improvement.
Ebor today operates 22 schools across York, Selby, on the Yorkshire Coast and in the East Riding and the Humber. Two more schools, in Hessle, are set to join in July.
Mr Ludlow is a National Leader of Education and has been head of three primary schools, starting with Dishforth Church of England Primary School in 1994. In 1998 he moved to Ralph Butterfield Primary School and in 2004 became headteacher at Robert Wilkinson Primary School.
He is a Fellow of the National College for Teaching and Learning. He has also established three international education partnerships, in Madrid, Singapore and Shanghai. With Manor CE School, Robert Wilkinson Primary School set up the Ebor Teaching Schools Alliance in 2012, which was relaunched last year as the EborHope Teaching Schools Alliance.
In March Mr Ludlow announced his intention to retire at some point during the 2019-2020 academic year and plans are coming together to recruit his successor.