The headteacher of a high-performing school in Northampton has spoken of his pride and delight after being knighted in the New Year’s Honours List.
Michael Griffiths, the headteacher of Northampton School For Boys (NSB), has been recognised for services to education, for his work at both a local and national level.
Sir Michael’s citation praises his leadership at NSB and in his role as president of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), a position he held in 2012-13.
This year marks Sir Michael’s 40th year in education, 21 of which have been spent in two spells at NSB.
Describing his reaction to the knighthood, Sir Michael said: “It is a combination of delight and being fairly dumbstruck, which is unusual for a head.
“It came as quite a considerable surprise, as I have no idea who put me forward for it. It is a huge honour, both for me and the school.
“It is not something that was on the agenda when I started out as a science teacher in Wolverhampton in 1974.”
Sir Michael said his positivity about the education system had helped him secure the title.
He said: “It is very easy for people to get quite negative, and for negative views to come out in the media, about education. I have always been a glass half-full person, and optimistic about what is going on in education.
“I am hugely indebted to the teachers, support staff and governors, who have all been very supportive, and to the governors for allowing me to go off last year and work with the ASCL, which has allowed me to work in the wider education system.
“We are quite heavily involved in policy making with ministers, trying to move things in a way we think is most appropriate.”
Speaking about the school’s success, he added: “I have tried to build on the very good school it already was.
“I am the figurehead, but the success is down to the hard work of a terrific team of people.”