IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE community recognised in Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours

2 June 2022

Congratulations to Professor Dame Christine Gilbert, IOE alumni Sir Quentin Blake CBE and Dr Julian Grenier CBE, who are among numerous members of the UCL community recognised in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours.

Dame Christine Gilbert (left), Sir Quentin Blake (right)

Professor Christine Gilbert CBE, a Visiting Professor at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, was appointed a Dame Commander for services to young people and charity. Illustrator and writer and alumnus Sir Quentin Blake (PGCE, 1956) was made Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to illustration.

A more recent IOE graduate, Dr Julian Grenier, is an alumnus of the Doctorate in Education (EdD) programme at IOE, which he graduated from in 2013. Dr Grenier was awarded a CBE for services to early education.

The list also includes former UCL President & Provost (2013 to 2021) Professor Michael Arthur who was awarded a Knights Bachelor for services to Higher Education. 

Professor Gilbert worked as a history teacher and headteacher before being promoted to Director of Education for the London Borough of Harrow. In 1997, she moved to become head of Tower Hamlets Education Services and from 2000-06 she served as Chief Executive of Tower Hamlets, during which time she led a transformation of the quality of schooling in the borough.

In October 2006 she became head of Ofsted and Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, Children’s Services and Skills, for the five-year term. Christine Gilbert has also made an important contribution to the work of IOE, in particular to the UCL Centre for Educational Leadership, where she has been a Visiting Professor since January 2012.

She played a pivotal role in the early years of UCL Academy, and in 2018 she was awarded a UCL honorary fellowship for her career as a headteacher and ongoing work for the promotion of equity and excellence in the education system. 

Sir Quentin Blake CBE gained a PGCE at IOE in 1956, before taking classes at Chelsea Art School. Besides having illustrated and written numerous children’s books, he taught for over twenty years at the Royal College of Art, where he was head of the Illustration department from 1978 to 1986.

Alumnus Dr Julian Grenier was awarded a CBE for services to early education. He is currently Headteacher of Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre in Newham, London. Besides his career working in primary, special educational needs and nursery schools across London, Dr Grenier previously served as an advisor for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and two committees for the Department of Education: The Rose Review of the Primary Curriculum, and The Nutbrown Review of Early Education and Childcare Qualifications.

A number of other UCL staff and alumni were also commended in this year’s Queen’s Birthday honours list, for their services to science, research, higher education, and the arts.  



  • Left: Christine Gilbert, photo from krishna_avanti_bhumi_puja via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).
  • Right: Sir Quentin Blake at an IOE event, 2007.