Express & Star

Chairman of Wolverhampton schools' trust 'overjoyed' to be honoured with MBE

A volunteer who later became chairman of a Wolverhampton schools' trust says he is overjoyed to have been honoured with an MBE for his long-standing service to education.


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David Coles joined Manor Primary School as a parent governor in 1999 and went on to volunteer for 20 years.

When the multi-academy trust (MAT) was formed in 2016, Mr Coles became a director of the trust, a role in which he remains to this day.

Now, the 66-year-old from Wolverhampton has been awarded an MBE for services to education in the King's birthday honours list.

Mr David Coles

David, a retired criminal defence lawyer who has lived in Wolverhampton for 27 years with his wife, Angela, and their three children Daniel, Rebecca and Kiera, says he is shocked but overjoyed at the news.

He said: "I was not expecting it, I was not aware of any nominations, so it came as a very great surprise when the letter from the Cabinet Office arrived.

"My wife will be coming with me, she works at Manor Primary School herself so she is very, very proud of the award."

Although he has retired from his full-time profession, David remains in his role due to his sheer passion and motivation that children get the 'best education possible'.

He said: "I joined as a parent governor because my children went through the school. Of course, the aim is to always do my bit as much as I could to ensure the children get the best education possible – that has always been my motivation.

"Although I have retired from my profession, I have not retired from the school. I still enjoy being in school with the staff and in particular with the children and being part of their learning journey."

Anita Cliff, chief executive advisor for Manor MAT, said: "David Coles has been chair of Manor Primary and more recently Manor MAT, his service spanning almost 25 years, and his exceptional work is being recognised with this very fitting award.

"Manor MAT has a reputation for transforming failing schools, it has taken in five special measures schools and rapidly improved them transforming the life chances of thousands of children.

"David's dedication and service to 3400 children and almost 400 staff is truly exceptional, and we are so proud this local man is being recognised in this way."