Children’s professionals named in New Year Honours

Wirral Metropolitan Council’s former children’s services director Howard Cooper is among a raft of children’s professionals to be recognised in the Queen’s New Year Honours list.

Cooper, who is currently interim director of Wirral’s adult services and is a national council member of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, has been awarded a CBE for services to local government.

He was appointed Wirral’s director of education and cultural services in 2003 and became director of children’s services at the council three years later.

Wirral Council leader councillor Jeff Green said: “Howard has been a major force for good for the people of Wirral and his work developing the children’s workforce and bringing different agencies closer together to ensure children are protected has been outstanding.”

Others to be recognised include Susan John, head teacher of Lampton School in Hounslow, who has been named a Dame, and Sheila Taylor, head teacher at Annette Street Primary School in Glasgow, who has been awarded a CBE for services to local and national education in Scotland.

Keith Lucas, the TV producer who founded Street College in Oldham, which runs media projects for young people, has been awarded an MBE.

Lucas said: “Each and every young person who has received training from Street College is honoured today.”

Among others in the charity sector to be recognised is Marion Bennathan, who has been awarded an OBE for founding the Nurture Group Network. The network is the umbrella organisation for nurture groups that support disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people.