Pauline Hagen awarded an OBE

Pauline Hagen, Principal of New College Pontefract, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Paulin Hagen“I am very proud and grateful for this recognition of work in the field of education,” commented Pauline. “Over the course of a career in the education system I have been reminded daily of just how important it is to focus relentlessly on the needs of every individual learner, because educational success genuinely transforms the quality of their lives and those of the societies and communities they live in. I’m also grateful to the team at New College Pontefract, for their talent, their drive and their profound commitment to our vision. This recognition will inspire us to climb more mountains!”

Pauline became Principal in 2011, having been appointed Deputy Principal in 2010. When Pauline began her work in Pontefract, the college had a success rate of 83.5%, a retention rate of 90.7% and a high grade rate of 33.4%. Today, the college’s figures are 94.8%, 97.8% and 56%. This makes it the best sixth form college in the north of England, and the third best in the whole country.

Pauline’s positive impact on post-16 education has extended beyond the 2,200 learners at New College Pontefract to include young people across the region. The college, now an academy sponsor, is sponsoring a 16-19 free school, New College Doncaster, which will open in 2017. This will be the first free school sponsored by a sixth form college anywhere in the country, and is expected to be supplemented by another 16-19 free school in Bradford, building on the strategies and systems established in Pauline’s five years leading Pontefract.

Additionally, Pauline has been appointed a National Leader of Education, has been part of a DfE Fellowship Commission, and has overseen the establishment of a new teaching school, The New Collaborative Teaching School Alliance. The teaching school provides formal school-to-school deployments, as well as CPD for over 30 partner schools, and training for specialist leaders in education (SLEs).

This range of activities has made a significant positive impact on the lives of thousands of young people.

Yvette Cooper, Labour MP for Castleford and Pontefract said: “New College makes a massive contribution not only to the success of our young people but to the Five Towns as a whole. Pauline is at the heart of that and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her over the last few years.”

“I know how hard she and the staff and students work so I’m absolutely thrilled her work is being recognised and we can shine a spotlight on what a great place New College is to study and open up opportunities to access higher education and employment.”

Before working at Pontefract, Pauline was employed by HMPS as Head of Learning and Skills in two custodial establishments and worked in three other 16-19 colleges. She has also been Principal Examiner for A-Level English for Edexcel, and is a qualified Ofsted inspector.