A SCHOOL governor passionate about making sure every child reaches their potential was named on the honours list yesterday.

Jill McCleery will become an MBE for voluntary services to education.

She has been a governor at St Ebbe’s Primary School in South Oxford for 35 years and helped transform it from a school with a falling roll and demoralised staff to one of the city’s leading schools.

Last night, she said: “I passionately care about state education. St Ebbe’s has always been brilliant. It is a really special school because it has a complete cross-section of the community in it.

“There is a wonderful staff, which is something you work hard at. And then there are the governors, who are just as passionate about education.”

Mrs McCleery has served on the bench at Oxford Magistrates’ Court since 1986.

She also volunteers at the Terrence Higgins Trust each week and together with husband Robin, ran the South Oxford Adventure Playground for many years.

Dr McCleery, a Fellow at Wadham College, died three years ago.

During her time at St Ebbe’s, she has also been responsible for the new library, which was dedicated to Dr McCleery .

She said: “I started it by asking everyone I knew to give me a book, some money or a book token.

“By the time we had finished, we had £27,000 worth of books and a stunning library.”

She also set up the Robin McCleery Outreach Fund at Wadham College, which invites in children from state education to encourage them into further education.

She said: “Sometimes you wonder if it’s worth carrying on. Robin was only 58 when he died. But then they come along and you think, yes it is.”