A COLLEGE principal has said she is 'amazed and grateful' to have been made an MBE in the New Year Honours list.

Di Batchelor, head of Abingdon and Witney College, was recognised for her services to further and adult education.

The 2020 list was revealed on Friday night, with about 20 people in Oxfordshire commended for their achievements in their careers and in the community.

The principal said: "I am quite amazed to have been recognised in this way and very grateful. I’ve always had the very good fortune to work with fantastic colleagues without whom I couldn’t have achieved anything at all.

"I am delighted to accept the honour and like to think it belongs to us all."

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Ms Batchelor was appointed as principal of the college in 2016, and has spent 36 years in the sector.

She started as a volunteer youth worker for Oxfordshire County Council in 1983, then spent seven years in the council's adult education service.

Gavin Maitland-Smith, chair of governors at the college, said: "I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Di, and everyone at Abingdon and Witney College is immensely proud of her tremendous achievement.

"Di will be too modest to admit it, but this is more than well-deserved and is a reflection of an incredible career and the many lives she has changed."

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A statement from the college said: "Di’s award recognises her highly principled and wholehearted commitment to providing education of the very highest quality to those that need it most.

"Her approach has enabled her to change the lives of tens of thousands of people throughout her career.

"Under her leadership, Abingdon & Witney College has delivered some of the highest achievement rates in England for 16-18 year-olds, apprentices, and higher education students studying for degrees at the college."

The college has campuses in Abingdon, Witney and Common Leys.