Uxbridge College Principal Attends OBE Ceremony
Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College, received her OBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. She was honoured for her services to Further Education.

College Principal Laraine Smith, who was honoured with an OBE in the New Year Honours, has attended her investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Ms Smith, who has been Principal since September 2007, received her award from Prince Charles on 16 February.

Ms Smith, who lives in Acton, attended the event with her sons Eddie and Paul.

She said: "Receiving the OBE medal from Prince Charles is something I will never forget. As you might expect, I was nervous while waiting to be called for my award but the Buckingham Palace staff did everything they could to put the Honours recipients at ease. It really was a perfect day. It was a very proud and yet also a very humbling moment - an opportunity to remember everyone who has worked with me to make this recognition possible. This is a great honour for me, for Uxbridge College and for everyone who has supported me along the way."

Ms Smith, who was given the award for services to Further Education in 2010's New Year Honours, has worked in education for 25 years, joining Uxbridge College in 2003 as Vice Principal for Curriculum and Standards. In this time she has seen the College, which has 10,000 full-time and part-time students and works with 1,500 businesses, ranked first for success rates for students age 16-18 for three years running, out of 39 further education providers in London. The College was given an outstanding award by Ofsted in May 2008, the first time it has been rated at this level.

Laraine grew up and was educated in Australia and spent the first four years of her teaching career working in comprehensive high schools in Sydney. A move to London followed and after a year teaching at Villiers High School in Southall, Laraine moved into further education in 1985.

In her spare time she is a keen swimmer and enjoys walking.


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