A MAN who has been pivotal in building up a Blackburn based academy group is "humbled" to have been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Chair of the Board of Star Academies, Kamruddin Kothia, has been made an Officer of the British Empire recognition of his outstanding service to education.

Kamruddin, who is known as Kam, has held strategic leadership roles in education for over 20 years.

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Initially as Chair of Governors at Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College (TIGHS) and, since 2010, as co-founder and Chair of Star Academies, he has been at the forefront of extending access to high-quality education for young people from disadvantaged communities, raising aspirations and improving school standards across the country.

He said: “It is a great privilege and an honour to have been awarded an OBE, especially in the year of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

"This honour is further recognition of the achievements of Star Academies and the positive impact the trust and its schools have on the lives of young people nationwide. 

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“It is truly humbling to be part of such a talented and dedicated team, and I am proud of what we have collectively achieved – especially during the most challenging and extraordinary times over the past couple of years.

“This honour is a tribute to everyone involved in the success of Star Academies – from our inspirational school leaders to our amazing teachers and support staff, our hard-working young people and supportive parents.

“I wish to give special thanks to my fellow trustees, members and school governors who collectively volunteer thousands of hours of their valuable time each year to selflessly serve our schools – this honour is a tribute to each of them for the vital roles they play in improving the lives of so many children and young people.”

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During his 15-year term as Chair of Governors at TIGHS, Mr Kothia led the school’s transformation from a small independent school to the best-performing state school in the country, which secured three consecutive ‘outstanding’ Ofsted inspection ratings throughout his tenure.

As Chair of the Board of Trustees, Kam has helped the trust grow from operating a single school in Blackburn to a national network of 31 primary and secondary schools.

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As well as contributing over 30 years’ voluntary service, Kam has had an extensive career as a strategic leader in the digital and telecommunications sectors.

He also serves on the Board of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is a Regimental Council Member of the Duke of Lancaster Regiment, the Infantry Regiment of the North West of England, and serves as a Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire assisting the Lord-Lieutenant of Lancashire in carrying out his public duties as representative of Her Majesty the Queen.