THE head of one of Bradford’s biggest academy chains has been awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Hamid Patel is the chief executive of Star Academies Trust, which runs six schools in the district.

Barkerend Primary, Eden Boys’, High Crags Primary, Laisterdyke, Thornbury Primary and Tong Leadership Academies are all part of the Star Academies Trust.

Mr Patel had already been awarded a CBE previously but has now been made a Sir in recognition of his service to education.

He has been the trust’s chief executive since it was founded in 2010 on a commitment to raising aspirations and life chances of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

It has some of the highest performing schools in the country and is working hard to improve the quality of teaching and results at its schools in Bradford.

Mr Patel, who hails from Blackburn, said: “This is a tribute for all those who have worked so hard at Star Academies whose care, diligence and passion continue to inspire young people and nurture tomorrow’s leaders.

“All those involved with our schools at every level – our talented teachers, and our supportive parents, governors and wider community – have made a telling contribution to the positive impact we have had on the lives of so many children and young people.

“The last 16 months have arguably been the hardest that any of us working in education have experienced but we, like those across the sector, have continued to put our pupils first, prioritising their wellbeing and giving them the best academic, extra-curricular and social opportunities.”

Kam Kothia, chair of Star Academies, added: “On behalf of the Star family, we are extremely proud of Hamid and congratulate him on his well-deserved knighthood.

“This prestigious honour is testimony to his dedicated leadership, selfless service and unfailing commitment to improving outcomes for our young people across the country.

“It is also an affirmation of the excellent work that is continually undertaken across Star schools nationally and within the central team.

“We know that this recognition does not signal the completion of Star’s work. It will redouble our mission to nurture today’s young people and inspire tomorrow’s leaders.”