A 'proud' Hillingdon principal was awarded an OBE in the New Year Honours list for Services to Education.

Mr John Ayres is the principal of the Eden Academy, a family of five schools serving children and young people with a range of special educational needs in Hillingdon and Harrow .

In a career spanning 30 years in the field, beginning as headteacher of Grangewood School, Pinner, in 1993, Mr Ayres is also one of the first National Leaders of Education and internationally, where he has promoted the development of more inclusive schooling in Hong Kong, Lebanon, Yemen, Malta and India.

READ MORE: See the full list of New Year Honour recipients from west London here

Mr Ayres said: “I am absolutely delighted about receiving this honour and the recognition that it brings for the Eden Academy as a whole.

“I have always felt both proud and privileged to work with children and young people with a range of special educational needs and their families.

“I think an honour of this nature is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the whole of the Eden Academy team.”

Mr Ayres oversaw the development of a thriving community for primary-aged children with severe learning difficulties and their families, to encourage integration and self-development and that was recognised by OFSTED as outstanding in 2008 and then again in 2014.

Grangewood School became part of the Eden Academy in 2012, with Moorcroft School, and were joined by Alexandra School in Harrow and a newly opened free school, Pentland Field School in Ickenham .

The Academy also has a strategic alliance with RNIB Sunshine House School in Northwood , giving all pupils access to integrated family services and therapies, as well as exceptional facilities and highly-trained and experienced staff.

Susan Douglas, the CEO of the Eden Academy, said: “John has always sought to ensure that our children and young people can access the highest possible standards of educational provision.

“We are extremely proud of him and feel this honour is richly deserved.”