A popular Sutton Coldfield teacher was “humbled” and “honoured” to receive her MBE during the October half term.
Sue Bailey, assistant headteacher at Arthur Terry School and safeguarding lead for the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP), was presented with her award by Prince William at Buckingham Palace.
Mrs Bailey, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her service to vulnerable young people and families in the West Midlands, has dedicated her award to her “incredible” children and school community.
She said: “I’m delighted and honoured. This award goes to the incredible young people and families that I’ve had the privilege to work with, along with all the people who have helped me to make a real difference to so many lives.”
Mrs Bailey who is known for her dedication, compassion and sense of humour, said that receiving her award on October 31 – Halloween – was definitely a treat and that she was dressed for a truly royal occasion.
She said: “It was a very special and unforgettable day. The weather was glorious and there was lots of excitement walking down The Mall. The palace was every bit as regal as you’d expect it to be.”
After presenting Mrs Bailey with her MBE, The Duke of Cambridge talked to the respected education leader about her work with Children’s Centres and safeguarding the most vulnerable in the community.
She said: “Prince William was charming! I asked him about his family and I managed to sneak in a compliment about what good role models they are setting as new parents. He commented that it had just been half term in London and they had had a busy week with George and Charlotte.”
Loyal Aston Villa follower, Mrs Bailey, was just about to ask the royal fan about the club’s new manager, when time got the better of the two football fans.
Commenting on her day at the palace, Mrs Bailey said: “It was such an experience – one that I will never forget. I met so many interesting people from all over the world who were there to receive similar awards for a variety of reasons. I felt very honoured and humbled.”
Mrs Bailey attended the ceremony with her husband Colin and her two children, son Joshua and daughter, Jodie Bryant, who said: “What a very special day for the Bailey household. It was brilliant watching Mum collect her MBE and we are so proud of her.”
Born in Sutton Coldfield, Mrs Bailey was raised in the Falcon Lodge area of the town and attended Fairfax School. She joined Arthur Terry School in 1976 as a PE teacher, where she met her husband and fellow PE teacher Colin Bailey, who retired from the school last year.
The popular teacher, leader and community member has supported many families through her work with the Sutton Coldfield Children’s Centres and Four Oaks Youth. She has been involved with a number of voluntary organisations and has worked with Sutton Coldfield Charitable Trust for 20 years. Mrs Bailey is a prominent PTA member and plays a key role in governance at Arthur Terry and other schools, including Walsall’s Blue Coat School. Every year she co-ordinates various events for seven local primary schools to help children prepare for secondary school.
As a teacher of 42 years, Mrs Bailey has dedicated her longstanding career to the educational, social and emotional welfare of children. Outside of the classroom, she is involved in a number of extra-curricular activities that enrich the lives of students. She is a gold Duke of Edinburgh Award holder and the recipient of a long service award from the organisation, having met Prince William’s grandfather, Prince Philip several times. Last year, Mrs Bailey was invited to Buckingham palace to celebrate Arthur Terry School’s 20-year involvement with the Outward Bound Trust.
Mrs Bailey’s priority is the safety and protection of young people. She works across ATLP schools, other schools and organisations and Birmingham City Council, to ensure that Prevent and safeguarding training is delivered across the region.