School governor ‘humbled’ by MBEBy Alice Murphy
June 16, 2010
The chairman of governors at an Arborfield school is among those named on The Queen’s Birthday Honours list this week.
Christopher Barrows has been made an MBE for voluntary services to education in recognition of his work at The Coombes Primary School.
Mr Barrows, who is in his late 60s and lives in Barkham, was unveiled as one of this year’s crop of MBE recipients on The Queen’s official birthday on Saturday.
He said: “A few weeks ago I got a letter to say my name was being put forward but I couldn’t say anything until the list was officially released on Saturday.”
He said since then he has been inundated with messages of congratulations from staff and parents.
“They are very pleased for me,” he said.
“I have had a number of messages from people to congratulate me.”
Mr Barrows was also chairman of governors at Ranelagh School in Bracknell for eight years until last year.
He said: “I have been involved with The Coombes School for many years, since my children were pupils there.
“I’m very pleased but humbled by the MBE. I have worked with so many people who have given their time freely but I’m the one they chose to recognise.
“I like to think I share it with others and I hope it encourages other people to get involved.”
Before becoming chairman of governors at The Coombes six years ago, Mr Barrows was on the governing body for many years too.
Mr Barrows has seen the school grow over the years, with changes including the amalgamation of The Coombes Infants with Arborfield, Newland and Barkham Junior last year.
He said: “We have seen a lot of changes at the school with the amalgamation.
“We have had a lot of challenges here but the children learning is the greatest award.
“They can learn such a lot and seeing them learn is a great reward.”
Mr Barrows was at the school on Monday to see some of the extensive building work taking place in the school grounds.
Several visitors were on-site to have a look at the works taking place.
Mr Barrows said he will be speaking to the children at an assembly about his MBE and expects to receive the award from The Queen in the autumn.
He said: “When I actually go to the palace I will get the award and be able to show it to the children.
“I haven’t got a date to go there yet but it will be later in the year.”