College leader honoured with OBE by the Queen

MILES Dibsdall, principal and chief executive at Edinburgh Telford College, has been honoured with an OBE at Buckingham Palace.

The 46-year-old received the accolade for services to further and higher education at a special ceremony with Her Majesty last Wednesday.

Also picking up MBEs in the same batch as the educator were Coronation Street legends Eileen Derbyshire aka Emily Bishop and Barbara Knox, better known as Rita Fairclough.

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Mr Dibsdall said the Queen took a special interest in him when she discovered he worked in Edinburgh.

"It was such an honour," he said.

"As soon as her Majesty found out that I live and worked in Edinburgh she took immediate interest.

"She told me that she thought Scotland was such a special place and loved the people and the countryside. I couldn't have agreed more!

"It was a strange mix of emotions but a real 'wow' experience and a very exciting day.

"I was in the first group of ten people so was fortunate to get a front row seat to see the whole show.

"When the Queen arrived and the national anthem played it was really quite an emotional moment and one I won't forget.

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"You do get the sense that this is a real honour and at that time what went through my mind was former colleagues and colleges I have worked in. It was a privilege to receive the award in the company of so many outstanding and distinguished people from all walks of life."

Mr Didsdall has notched up 24 years in education working in seven different colleges. He said that the royal seal of approval could indirectly benefit Edinburgh Telford College.

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"Receiving an award for further and higher education helps to establish credibility," he said.

"My whole focus is on serving the community and putting the learner first. Receiving an award like this will certainly help Telford College."

Mr Dibsdall joined Telford College after holding the top job at New College, Stamford, in Lincolnshire for three-and-a-half years.

There he expanded the range and selection of courses offered and his leadership was formally commented on in an OFSTED report.

During his tenure, New College won a Beacon award for its partnership working.

Prior to that he was deputy principal at West Kent College for three years and worked in several of the Kent Colleges. He was educated in Devonshire and the University of Leicester.

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Mr Dibsdall studied for his teacher qualifications whilst teaching part-time and in October 2009 successfully completed the Principals Qualifying Programme.

He was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and has achieved his Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management.