'Honoured and amazed' school governor to be made an MBE

Vivienne Lennox, chairman of the governors at the Suffield Park Infant and Nursery School at Cromer,

Vivienne Lennox, chairman of the governors at the Suffield Park Infant and Nursery School at Cromer, who has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

More than 20 years service to schools in her community has led to an MBE for Vivienne Lennox.

Dr Lennox, 58, said she was "honoured and amazed" when she heard about the MBE for services to education, which was announced on the New Year's Honours list for 2022. 

The retired GP said: "I was flabbergasted. You do these things and don't think anything of them and suddenly, this arrives through the door."

Dr Lennox, from Cromer, became a governor at Suffield Park Infant and Nursery School in 1998 and became the chair of the governing board in 2000.

Vivienne Lennox, chairman of the governors at the Suffield Park Infant and Nursery School at Cromer,

Vivienne Lennox, chairman of the governors at the Suffield Park Infant and Nursery School at Cromer, who has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Keeping in step with the schooling of her five daughters, she was a governor at Cromer High School -  now Cromer Academy - for four years, and also Paston College in North Walsham for seven years.

In 2013, she spearheaded work on a £3 million construction project, lobbying and planning for the construction of six new classrooms to accommodate a rising numbers of pupils, and a major refurbishment of older permanent buildings, which were officially opened in July 2018.

Vivienne Lennox, chairman of the governors at the Suffield Park Infant and Nursery School at Cromer,

Vivienne Lennox, chairman of the governors at the Suffield Park Infant and Nursery School at Cromer, who has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Dr Lennox has been the driving force for many new initiatives including the creation of a Specialist Resource Base, and a nursery with daycare facilities from babies to age seven.

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Dr Lennox said the school was a real community, and she was impressed by how hard everyone worked. 

"The staff team at the infants are amazing," she said. "Particularly over the past few years with Covid, they have put in so much effort. Their dedication is quite humbling to see."

Dr Lennox said there were few things as rewarding as the role of school governor, and Suffield Park school was always looking for new volunteers to join its board. 

She said: "The main thing is supporting the staff and particularly the headteacher, so that they know there's somebody looking out for them. 

"It's also about asking those awkward questions and making sure that we're doing our best for the children. We strive to make sure the whole school community - including the parents - are represented."

Dr Lennox said she had enjoyed watching the school grow during her time as a governor - there were now around 120 children enrolled in the nursery 190 at the junior school, and a staff of almost 80.