A total of 24 people from Oxfordshire were recognised in King Charles’ first New Year Honours list and two of them have links to Bicester and Banbury.

Sally Dicketts - who stepped down as chief executive officer of Activate Learning in April 2022 and was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Honours List in July 2013 – has now been made a Dame.

Ms Dicketts worked in further education for more than 35 years.

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Activate Learning oversees Banbury and Bicester College, Bicester Technology Studio and the Bicester School as well as two other colleges in the county.

Also recognised in the honours list was Detective Inspector Tina Wallace, who was awarded a King’s Police Medal (KPM).

She said: “When I received the email saying that I was to receive a KPM, I was completely overwhelmed.

“I had to read the email several times before it began to sink in.

“I was just walking around in a bit of a daze, and I had to go out and walk my dogs to try to compose myself.”

DI Wallace joined Thames Valley Police in 1997, spending two years at Witney before moving on to the Area Proactive Team at Banbury police station in 1999.

She spent two years working in Banbury.

Another person from Oxfordshire recognised in the honours list is Lissie Harper, who was awarded an MBE.

She received the honour for her help introducing Harper’s Law, which means anyone convicted of killing an emergency services worker while committing a crime will face a mandatory life sentence.

The legal reform was added to the statute book on April 28, 2022.

Professor Sir Ian Chapman, chief executive officer of the UK Atomic Energy Authority, found himself on the honours list with the award of a knighthood for services to global fusion energy.

Oxford Mail: Professor Sir Ian Chapman Professor Sir Ian Chapman (Image: Photo: Culham Science Centre)

The professor said: “It is such a privilege to work with brilliant people who will change the way we produce and use energy, and this honour is a reflection of the things that we achieve as a collective.”

The head of Oxfordshire County Council’s ‘School Improvement Team’ was awarded an MBE.

Kim James was awarded for services to education.

The head of ‘School Improvement and Learning’ at the authority said she was “deeply moved and humbled” to be recognised on the list.

She said: “I am but a small part of a fantastic team of people who are all focused on improving outcomes for the pupils across Oxfordshire.

“I accept this honour on behalf of everyone who works in education; teaching assistants, school office staff, teachers, senior leaders, heads and school governors.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1