AN EDUCATOR who was made an OBE said her own school experience fuelled her passion for 'expanding young minds'.

Kate Chhatwal, a former pupil at Larkmead School in Abingdon, was among recipients of the 2020 New Year Honours for her services to education.

Dr Chhatwal is no longer based in Oxfordshire but grew up in the county, and is now chief executive of Challenge Partners.

The organisation brings together a network of schools to challenge and support each another to improve children’s life chances.

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She said: "My own school experience opened my eyes to the power of education to expand young minds with new experiences, ideas and perspectives, which benefit individuals, communities and society.

"It prompted me to try through my career and voluntary roles to enable more children and communities to benefit from a great education.

"I feel honoured (and rather embarrassed) to receive an award for doing something I love and care passionately about."

The Vale Academy Trust, which runs Larkmead, said it was 'delighted' for Dr Chhatwal.