New Year Honour for college teacher

Janet Ellis, 71, has received the British Empire Medal for services to education 

Janet Ellis has received the British Empire Medal for services to education - Credit: Submitted

A teacher of almost 50 years has received the British Empire Medal for services to education in the New Year Honours.

Janet Ellis is head of the life and environmental sciences department and programme co-ordinator for science at South Devon College.

“I was surprised and rather overwhelmed to learn that I had been awarded the British Empire Medal for services to education in the New Year’s Honours List,” says Janet, 71, from Kingskerswell.

“I have been a teacher for almost 50 years and have seen many technological changes – I started with a chalk board and handouts printed on a hand-cranked spirit copier and now use an interactive whiteboard, PowerPoint presentations, and, most recently, teaching remotely through Teams.

“Throughout it all the joy of the job has remained the same – teaching students about the wonders of biology and helping them achieve their goals.

“Further education has changed in other ways, often driven by the opposing forces of increasing demands from Government coupled with decreasing funding.

“Whatever the changes, the college’s aims have remained the same: to improve the life chances of students by supporting them to gain the qualifications they need; working with employers to develop a skilled workforce; using the expertise of staff to adapt and advance the curriculum.

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“I am delighted to have been part of these endeavours, and as part of my role as programme coordinator for science, I have been able to contribute to changes in the curriculum so that it continues to match the needs of students.

“Thanks to the CPD opportunities offered by the college, I have been supported to gain qualifications, including a MA, and to keep my understanding of biology up to date.

“Against this backdrop it can be seen that any contribution I have made to education reflects the ongoing contribution of all the staff at South Devon College.”