MBE for QE Head of Mathematics

Queen Elizabeth’s School is celebrating after its Head of Mathematics was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Fauziah Scarisbrick, who is known as Gee, receives the award for ‘services to Education’ after spending her entire 31-year teaching career at QE.

In that time, QE has changed from an undersubscribed comprehensive to the country’s leading boys’ grammar school. Mrs Scarisbrick has played a significant part in this transformation, with her pupils consistently achieving excellent examination results, thanks to a combination of her inspirational teaching and to the high expectations she has of them.

""Mr Enright said: “I was delighted to hear that Gee had been awarded the MBE; it is a fitting accolade, crowning an illustrious career characterised both by her loyalty to the School and her commitment to the highest educational standards.

“Literally thousands of boys have cause to be grateful for the positive influence which she has had, directly or indirectly, upon their progress, development and future. She has exemplified the aim of our 1573 charter, educating boys in manners as well as learning.”

The announcement of her MBE comes just six months after the school’s Chairman of Governors, Barrie Martin, received a similar award in the New Year’s Honours.

Characteristically modest, Mrs Scarisbrick initially considered quietly declining the MBE, but thought that would mean letting her colleagues down. “This has been a very special moment for my family and I am extremely honoured to receive the award,” she said. “I have worked with many wonderful individuals over the years at QE and it is through their dedication that our school has become one of the foremost in the country. This award is for everyone at QE, past and present.”

""Appointed in January 1983 after graduating from the University of Kent, Mrs Scarisbrick became Assistant Head of Mathematics in 1994 and then Head of the department in 1999. She took over leadership of Mathematics from Colin Price, who is now QE’s Second Master. Indeed, Mr Price has seen her career at very close hand, since she has worked with him in the Mathematics department for 28 years and was his deputy there.

“At all points of the School’s development, she has demanded and secured the highest standards from pupils and colleagues alike, leading always by personal example,” said Mr Price. “Giving selflessly of her time and energy, she plans every lesson in meticulous detail. Boys enjoy her lessons, learn effectively and make outstanding progress.”

Under Mrs Scarisbrick’s leadership, the Mathematics department has excelled, even by the elevated academic standards of QE. In 2013, every pupil in Year 11 achieved grade A* or A in Mathematics, while all 110 A-level Mathematics candidates achieved grade B or above.

""Yet, says the Headmaster, there is more to her success than diligence and professional firmness of purpose. “Teachers never truly succeed unless they genuinely care for the children in their charge. As a personal mentor, Gee has guided many pupils through periods of difficulty, showing great warmth and sensitivity. She would say that she has simply been doing her job, but the boys, parents and her colleagues know that it runs much deeper.”

As the longest-serving teacher, Mrs Scarisbrick is currently Mother of the Common Room and is the only member of staff who has worked with four Headmasters. She was appointed by Timothy Edwards, promoted to Assistant Head of Mathematics by Eamonn Harris and appointed Head of Mathematics when John Marincowitz became Headmaster.

“As her career moves into its latter stages, there could be no more fitting tribute to her than the public recognition and appreciation signified by the award of this MBE,” said Mr Enright.

Mrs Scarisbrick, who lives in Potters Bar, will be presented with her award in an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace, when she will be accompanied by her husband and two sons.