A teacher who has been an advocate for special educational needs inclusion in schools has been awarded an MBE.

Angela Holdsworth, from Helmshore, has been commended by the Queen in this year's New Year’s Honours list for services to children and young people with special educational needs.

The mother-of-three moved to Lancashire after getting married and gained a job as a teacher at Tor View Special School in Haslingden for 25 years, becoming headteacher in 2014.

The 52-year-old is now the CEO of Seaview Trust which runs six schools in Lancashire including Tor View, and is responsible for over 2,000 learners and 500 staff.

She said: “I do feel absolutely honoured, it’s very unexpected and I am hugely grateful to the people who have recommended me for this and my team at Seaview Trust who are all such stunning people and have done such an amazing job.

“As with these things, they are a collaborative effort and I do feel this has been a co-operative effort of people I have worked with over the years.

“I feel more like a vessel receiving this rather than it be purely something that I deserve.

“I only feel like I have tried to do the best job I can for children and families and that is what education is about.”

Angela, who grew up in North Yorkshire, even trained her cockapoo, Ruby to become a therapy dog for Tor View school to provide the pupils with emotional support.

She has established ‘inclusion bases’ which has seen pupils from Tor View achieve GCSE grades, with one having been accepted into University.

Her ‘action not words’ approach for SEND, is exemplified by her establishment of Valley College, also in 2019.

During the pandemic, Angela provided significant and invaluable SEND support to the Regional Schools Commissioner.

She is a strategic partner with the Pennine Lancashire School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) leading on the primary and specialist teacher training programmes, and is a regional representative for the National Whole School for SEND.

In 2007, she was pivotal in the funding of the Cotton Shed in Rossendale, an inspirational and imaginative theatre which exists to meet the needs of disadvantaged people.