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Sunderland professor officially awarded MBE

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Published on 08 February 2024

Professor Lynne McKenna MBE
Professor Lynne McKenna MBE

It was a Royal occasion for the University of Sunderland’s Professor Lynne McKenna who has been officially awarded an MBE for her services to education. 

Professor McKenna, Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society, was presented with her award by Princess Anne at an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle on Tuesday (February 6th).

Professor McKenna said: “It was such an honour to be recognised in King Charles’ first birthday honours list which was announced in June 2023.

"To accept this award from Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, was such a wonderful experience and a great privilege. It is a day my family will remember for many years to come.

"To have the opportunity to talk to Princess Anne about our University, and my work, was indeed an honour.

"Princess Anne asked me about my involvement in developing iQTS (International Qualified Teacher Status) for the Department for Education (DfE) She was very interested in the development of this flagship qualification at a time when we are experiencing a global teacher recruitment and retention crisis. I was very impressed that she was aware of my work.

"I am delighted to receive this award which recognises my work in education, particularly in teacher training and education but also the University’s commitment to ensuring that high quality teacher training and education for the north-east, nationally and internationally is recognised."

Professor McKenna joined the University in 2015 as Head of the School of Education and in 2018 was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Education and Society.

Lynne is a Professor of Education, and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is key member of several organisations including The MillionPlus Deans of Education Network, The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Teaching Profession, The University Council for the Education of Teachers, The Chartered College of Teaching, Schools North East and #WomenEd.

The organisations she is involved with have been influential in increasing the need for quality initial teacher education and training and providing ongoing support for serving teachers. She is a strong advocate for raising the status of the teaching profession. In 2020 she was named as a leader in the field of innovation on the list of #NorthInnovationWomen. The aim of the list is to highlight and recognise the excellence of female innovators working right across the North of England, as well as presenting a showcase of role models to women and girls thinking of working in or studying the many sectors where innovation is key.

In a career spanning three decades, Professor McKenna has played a key role in shaping the future of teacher training in the UK and internationally, changing thousands of lives and becoming a leading figure in the education system.