‘Burnley girl’ made a Dame

NEW YEAR HONOUR: Dame Christine Braddock (s)
NEW YEAR HONOUR: Dame Christine Braddock (s)

A WOMAN inspired by a Burnley teacher has been made a Dame in the New Year’s honours list for her services to education and business.

Dr Christine Braddock, the chief executive and Principal of Birmingham Metropolitan College, was born and brought up in Burnley, and says she will always be a Burnley girl at heart.

Her parents, Jean and Harold Beet, still live in Cog Lane and she often returns to her native town to be with her brother and three sisters, and catch up with friends from Burnley Technical High School.

As yet, Mrs Braddock has not been given a date for her investiture, but mum Jean is hoping that it will be on the same day as Olympic and Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.

Mrs Braddock made her own contribution to Olympic history this summer when she was chosen to be torch bearer through Birmingham city centre.

“It really has been a fantastic year,” said mother-of-three Mrs Braddock. “To be honoured in the same year as the Olympics is wonderful. I am deeply humbled, it’s not just for me but for everyone at college. It recognises the fantastic work we do as a team in one of the most deprived parts of Birmingham.”

Mrs Braddock (58) was made a CBE five years ago and in March becomes the High Sheriff of the West Midlands.

“I owe a lot to my Burnley background, and particularly to Towneley School,” said Mrs Braddock. “One of my teachers was Miss Elma Goom; she was inspirational and we kept in touch over the years until she died.”

After leaving school Mrs Braddock studied at Newcastle University and gained a Doctorate in special needs education. She joined Birmingham Metropolitan College 20 years ago after running prison education for the Home Office in the Midlands, where she built links with local authorities and FE colleges.

She is a past president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Group and was the first female member of Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership. She was chairman of the Engineering Training Board’s education and skills panel and is a past board member of Engineering UK. She is also a council member of CBI West Midlands, at Aston University, from where she has an honorary Doctorate.