Boarding school expert awarded King’s accolade

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Boarding school expert awarded King’s accolade

Receiving acknowledgement of excellence in service to students

Our Founder and Managing Director, Lorna Clayton has been recognised by King Charles in his first Birthday Honours list with the award of MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire).

What are the King’s Honours? 

The tradition of bestowing honours by the monarch has a long-standing history, symbolising royal recognition and appreciation. The King's Honours system, which includes the Order of the British Empire, was established in 1917 by King George V during World War I.

This order acknowledges exceptional contributions across various fields, including arts, sciences, sports, philanthropy, and public service. Today, the Honours system is still considered to be a prestigious recognition of exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions to society.

Want to know more about the monarchy and their connections to UK Boarding Schools? See our post to learn which boarding schools the Royal Family attended.

What is the MBE?  

One of the most widely recognised accolades within the Order of the British Empire is the MBE. Awarded to individuals who have rendered noteworthy service to their communities or have made a significant impact in their respective fields, the MBE holds immense prestige and carries with it the post-nominal letters MBE.

Other awards within the Order of the British Empire include OBE, CBE and DBE – Officer, Commander and Dame respectively.

How do you get an MBE? 

The MBE is typically awarded through the recommendations of various institutions, such as government departments, professional bodies, or members of the public. A thorough vetting process is undertaken by advisory committees, which assess the nominee's achievements, impact, and contribution to society. Their recommendations are then reviewed by higher authorities, culminating in the final selection process by the monarch.

To be considered for an MBE, individuals must demonstrate exceptional achievement or service that brings notable benefit or distinction to the community or nation.

Honourees can come from diverse backgrounds, encompassing fields like business, education, healthcare, charity work, and more. It is essential to showcase long-term dedication, innovation, and a positive influence in their respective areas of expertise.

A long history of service and support for talented young people

For many years, Lorna has focussed on transforming lives through education and cultural exchange. When she lived in Kenya in the 1990s, she founded Assist a Child To School, an education charity operating in Kenya and the UK. The organisation focuses on funding education for underprivileged children, enabling them to access quality learning opportunities and break the cycle of poverty.

Lorna's commitment to education extends beyond her charitable work. She played a pivotal role in Kenya by training guide leaders - empowering them with the skills needed to guide and support young people in their educational journeys.  

What does Lorna and Academic Families do?

  • Lorna founded Academic Families in 2012, and her highly respected education agency recruits international students from around the world to study overseas at boarding schools in the UK, North America and Europe.
  • Academic Families also provides gold standard, accredited guardianship services looking after international students when they study at British boarding schools.
  • To enable full time boarders to immerse themselves in British culture, Lorna’s team also matches them with local host families near their schools, and those families look after international students during school holidays.
  • Other international boarding school students prefer to join the Academic Families' bespoke, escorted holiday group trips to exciting destinations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For more than ten years, Lorna has expanded the educational services her company offers, and these achievements continue to be acknowledged by many of Lorna's peers. In fact, just recently, Academic Families was included in Fortune’s Top 25 Boarding School Advisors.

British female entrepreneur and philanthropist recognised with prestigious MBE 

Lorna's efforts in advancing education and cultural exchange have had a profound impact. By funding education for the needy, she has provided opportunities for countless children to access education and fulfil their potential. Through her work with guide leaders in East Africa, she has contributed to the personal and educational development of young people in Kenya. Furthermore, her establishment of Academic Families has enabled international students from around the world to access the best boarding school education available. She has facilitated cultural exchange and fostered understanding among young students from diverse backgrounds, which also helps support local school populations with their own internationalisation efforts. 

The exceptional contributions made by Lorna Clayton in the field of education and cultural exchange have garnered significant recognition. Her tireless dedication and transformative impact have now been recognised by King Charles with her MBE award for Services to Young People.

The honours process acknowledged her outstanding achievements, the positive influence she has had on the lives of countless individuals, and her unwavering commitment to improving educational opportunities for all.

Lorna Clayton's remarkable journey, marked by her philanthropic efforts in education and cultural exchange, exemplifies the essence of the MBE award. Her unwavering commitment to empowering children through education and facilitating cultural understanding makes her a deserving recipient of this prestigious award. She looks forward to receiving her MBE at Windsor Castle in December 2023. 

"I am proud and humbled to have been recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours list with an MBE for services to young people." - Lorna Clayton MBE

This article appears in the following categories  FAQs & Resources, School Admissions

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