Standard-driving governor who helped make Northampton School for Boys ‘outstanding’ to receive gong

Former Northampton School for Boys chair of the board of governors, Yvonne Edwards, has been awarded the MBE. She is pictured here in 2013 alongside former MP Brian Binley.
Former Northampton School for Boys chair of the board of governors, Yvonne Edwards, has been awarded the MBE. She is pictured here in 2013 alongside former MP Brian Binley.

A dedicated governor who helped make Northampton School for Boys one of the best in the county, is to be given the MBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours.

When Yvonne Edwards took over as chair of the board of governors at the Billing Road school in 1988, 40 per cent of pupils were leaving there with no qualifications.

But during a 26-year tenure she helped transform it into an outstanding-rated academy with one of the county’s best GCSE and A-level pass rates.

Now aged 82 and living at Collingtree Park Care Home, Mrs Edwards said it was a great honour to be awarded the MBE.

She said: “I think it’s wonderful,” before joking: “Some would say it’s a little overdue, as I was a governor for a long while.”

Mrs Edwards said her proudest achievement during her term as chair of governors came in recruiting a series of dynamic head teachers to the school.

But she says she always managed to maintain a good relationship with those in charge.

“To achieve anything you have to work hard wit the head teachers,” she said.

“If you don’t have a good relationship with the heads, you don’t succeed.

“I’m still with the school all the time and they often ask me how I feel about certain things.

“(Current head teacher) Richard (Bernard) is an excellent guy.

“He said to me once - ‘this is your school’ you are all around it’.”

Mrs Edwards joined as a parent governor in 1985 as both her sons, David and Nigel, attended there.

Her nominee for the MBE described her as playing “a pivotal role” in tackling poor student behaviour at the school during her time there.

But it was in helping to drive academic standards that she excelled.

In 1997, Ofsted judged Northampton School for Boys to be “good” but her efforts played a significant part in the school’s “outstanding” judgement in 2002.

Northampton School for Boys was the first school in the county to convert to academy status in 2010, and in 2014, it retained the outstanding tag.

Mrs Edwards said she was excited about receiving her MBE in the New Year and hoped to be joined at the ceremony by her two sons.

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