Educationalist Sue Samson given MBE in Queen’s New Year’s honour list

  • CEO of the University of Chichester Academy Trust honoured in 2020 awards
  • Ms Samson has taught in deprived communities, young offenders, and also people with emotional and social difficulties
  • She has overseen the growth of the Academy Trust: a multi-academy model of 15 schools educating more than 5,000 children


SUE SAMSON, the Chief Executive Officer of the University of Chichester Academy Trust, has been named in the Queen’s 2020 New Year’s honours for her outstanding contribution to education.

The educationalist, a former director of Academies for London and the South East for the Department for Education, will become a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Ms Samson has overseen the significant growth of the University of Chichester Academy Trust, which is a multi-academy model of 15 schools that educate more than 5,000 children. With the backing of the University of Chichester’s 180-year heritage of training teachers, she has created a vibrant, inclusive, and aspirational family of academies, transforming life chances for pupils through excellent teaching and learning.

Mrs Samson said: “I am delighted to have been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list. It is a validation of the commitment of so many teachers and headteachers that I have worked with and the fantastic achievements of so many children. They are the true hero’s and I am delighted to accept the honour on their behalf.

“Education has the power to shape lives, the ability to change our perceptions, and open doors to a bright new future – that is why I am so passionate about it. I absolutely love my job, and it is a real privilege to work with such amazing headteachers and University staff who are all as passionate as I am about raising aspirations and enriching lives.”

University of Chichester Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Longmore said: “As Chair of the University of Chichester Academy Trust, I am delighted at this well-deserved recognition of Sue’s phenomenal contribution to the work of our organisation. We make a positive difference to children’s lives across the region and will continue to do so under such committed leadership.”

Sue Samson was born and raised in a school where her much loved father was the headteacher and her role model. After she trained as a teacher she dedicated her working life to children who needed it most.

Sue taught in deprived communities, she taught young offenders and also young people with emotional and social difficulties, and loved every moment of it. She was determined to make a difference to their lives through education.

Following a number of years working in West Sussex Local Authority, training teachers and headteachers and inspecting and advising schools, she moved into a national role leading on 14 to 19-year-old education and ultimately supporting the government’s policy to develop academies and free schools.

She is now the Chief Executive of the University of Chichester Academy Trust where she is using her wide skills and educational experience to lead and develop schools to be the best they can be meeting the needs of the children and the communities they serve.

She has developed a special collaborative culture of learning and development across a group of 15 schools, a teacher training provider and University which has a strong education heritage.

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To find out more about Sue Samson and her pioneering work across the University of Chichester Academy Trust visit

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