19th July 2021

Honorary Doctorates and Distinguished Fellowships for 2020 Recognised

Bishop Grosseteste University is delighted to recognise an incredible group of individuals with honorary doctorates as part of its 2020 graduation ceremonies.

Those selected represent a wide range of backgrounds including Holocaust survivor and discrimination campaigner Simon Winston, Operations Manager for the England Men's World Cup winning Cricket team in 2019 Phil Neale and the former Director of INSET at the National Centre for Language and Literacy Prue Goodwin.

You can read more about each of the exceptional recipients below:

Simon Winston was born in 1938 to Jewish parents in a small Polish town called Radzivilov. It was a town in eastern Poland (now in the Ukraine) with a population of some 20,000 people - mostly Poles, with some Ukrainians and Russians. About 7,000 of the people were ethnic Jews.

In 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, the Jews in Radzivilov were very frightened because they had heard what the Nazis were doing to Jews in Germany. But after the Nazi-Soviet Pact, eastern Poland was incorporated into the Soviet Union and it was the Soviet army who entered Simon’s town. They imposed a very severe Communist rule of law for everyone, but they didn't deliberately set out to kill Jews.

After the unexpected invasion of Russia by the Germans in 1941, the Russian army fled and the Nazis entered Simon's town. Immediately they set out to terrorise, brutalise, dehumanise and dispossess all the Jews in our town in the most barbaric way possible.

Jews had all their property and possessions stolen and had to obey humiliating and draconian laws. Soon the Germans built a ghetto for the Jews, a prison. 'Useful Jews were sent out to work and rewarded with some food, whereas those considered useless' were contained in another part of the ghetto and starved to death. When only 2000 'useless' Jews were left, they were taken to a nearby forest and murdered.

In 1943, Simon's family managed to escape from the ghetto. They spent two years as fugitives from the Nazis. They were hidden by Polish farmers in three different hiding places. When the war ended in 1945, Simon's family came out of hiding. They couldn't go back to their home because it had been taken over by a Ukrainian family, so they became refugees, asylum seekers.

The family spent two years in Displaced Persons (DP) camps in Poland and Germany. Eventually, in 1947, Simon's family were allowed into Britain. Simon was nine at the time and worked hard at school, then spent two years in the Army doing his National Service. After the Army he worked as a civil engineer before eventually becoming a teacher. He was a Secondary School Teacher for 35 years, the last ten years working as a Supply Teacher.

In England, for about 50 years, Simon didn't dwell too much on his terrible experiences during WW2. There was little interest, too many other distractions, and there was unchecked racism and antisemitism in Britain. Then in 1997, Simon discovered Beth Shalom - now the National Holocaust Centre and Museum, in Nottinghamshire, not far from where he lives. It was at a time when Holocaust interest and Holocaust education had become more prominent and had become part of the National Curriculum at schools. There was a spate of genocides all over the world at the time and there was a need to tackle racism and prejudice at home.

Simon took to the task by giving talks at Beth Shalom; promoting sympathy towards those who are oppressed, empathy with those who are wrongly targeted through unchecked prejudice and discrimination, and warning about the consequences if these problems are not addressed. He did this by telling of his own experiences during WW2.

As well as at the Holocaust Centre, Simon has spoken to thousands of people at schools, universities, church, prisons and other interest groups. He is amazed at the positive response he gets from his audiences, through challenging questions, useful follow-up, and promises from people to stand up and speak out. Simon considers that we have to accept and discuss our differences properly and peacefully. We must avoid discrimination at all cost, we have to prevent abuse and violence, because that can lead to genocide, war and another Holocaust.

Phil Neale was born in Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire on 5th June 1954. He attended Ashby Infants, Rochdale Road Junior School and Frederick Gough Grammar School before moving on to study for his A levels at the newly formed John Leggott 6th Form College.

He played football and cricket at school and was given tremendous encouragement throughout his school years but, in particular from Geoff Warburton, his PE Master at Frederick Gough. Phil’s father, Geoff, worked at Appleby Frodingham Steelworks and this qualified Phil to play for Appleby Frodingham Cricket Club in the local Under 18 league and the Senior Lincolnshire League. He took the opportunity to impress the County selectors at all age groups and eventually the senior team. He also played in the local Scunthorpe and District Football leagues and made enough of an impression to be asked to play for the Lincolnshire F.A. at Under 19 level.

Phil went off to University in Leeds in 1972 and gained an Honours degree in Russian Studies in 1975. During the University years he played cricket for Pudsey St. Lawrence in the Bradford League and also had trials and then summer contracts with Worcestershire C.C.C. On the soccer field, he appeared for Lincoln United in the Yorkshire League and also Scunthorpe United Reserves and Lincoln City Reserves while at Leeds. This eventually led to his Football League debut for Lincoln City in 1975, while still at University.

On completion of his studies, Phil signed full time contracts with Worcestershire C.C.C and Lincoln City F.C. In 1976 he married his wife, Chris (who was Secretary at Scunthorpe United when he met her) and they have two children, Kelly and Craig.

He played 354 First Class matches (17,445 runs) and 339 List A games (7,253 runs) for Worcestershire and Captained them from 1982-1991, leading them to County Championship titles in 1988 and 1989, the Sunday League crown in 1987 and 1988 and in 1991 Worcestershire won their first Lords Final to clinch the 1991 Benson and Hedges Cup. In 1989 he was selected as one of Wisden’s 5 Cricketers of the Year.

Between 1974 and 1985 he made 369 appearances for Lincoln City as a footballer and was the last man to play cricket and football professionally at the same time. Lincoln enjoyed two successful periods during those years, under the Management of Graham Taylor and Colin Murphy, from whom Phil learnt a great deal about the Management of Sporting Teams.

In a coaching capacity, Phil worked at Northamptonshire C.C.C. and Warwickshire C.C.C. as Director of Cricket and coached the England ‘A’ Team on successful tours to South Africa and India. He then became England Under 19 Team Manager for the successful 1998 Under 19 World Cup campaign before moving up to work in that capacity with the England ‘A’ Team and, ultimately, his final position as Operations Manager of the England Cricket Team.

In 2005 he was awarded the OBE for Services to Cricket and, in particular, his role in the England Team’s successful campaign to reclaim of The Ashes in 2005.

Phil occupied his position with the England Team for 21 years and, during this time, has served six Head Coaches, 11 Test captains and worked on 257 Test matches, 422 One-Day Internationals and 110 T20 internationals. His retirement in October 2020 brought to an end a career spanning 46 years in professional sport.

Prue Goodwin is a freelance lecturer in literacy and children’s books.

After studying at Bishop Grosseteste College from 1965 to 1968, Prue started her career in education as a class teacher in a Hampshire primary school. Teaching proved to be an ideal profession for her; one within which Prue utilised her personal strengths in creative approaches to learning. Moving on in her career, Prue worked in primary and middle schools in Surrey before she left the classroom to join a government initiated project, Language in the Curriculum, for two years.

In 1992, Prue was appointed the Director of INSET at the National Centre for Language and Literacy, an independent department at the University of Reading. After ten years at the centre, Prue decided to become a freelance consultant in literacy learning and children’s books. She continued at the university on a part-time at basis, working with trainee teachers and running an MA module on Children’s Books in Education. Freelance time was spent writing & editing, speaking at conferences, providing consultancy to publishers of children’s books and supporting literacy development in schools and libraries. In addition to her work across the UK, Prue has lectured internationally and has been involved in activities concerning the development of literacy and children’s literature in the UK (e.g. the Kate Greenaway Medal) .

As a longstanding member of the UK Literacy Association (UKLA), she has been involved with research into teachers’ professional knowledge of children’s books and as an active member of the organising committee for the increasingly significant UKLA Book Awards (the only children’s book awards judged by practising teachers). Other organisations concerned with national standards of literacy (e.g. CLPE, Book Trust, CILIP and National Literacy Trust) have invited Prue to contribute to their work and she is still consulted by colleagues in HE and children’s publishing.

Janet Meenaghan is Chief Executive of Inspire Education Group and Principal of Stamford College. Her educational career has spanned 35 years, mostly in further education, with nine years as a university lecturer and two years with the Learning and Skills Council in a strategic regional role. As a teacher and manager she has developed, delivered and managed many different programme types, from level 1 to level 7, including apprenticeships, NVQs, academic and vocational learning, degrees and masters programmes, and research projects. Over the course of her career, she has worked in seven FE colleges – large/small, rural/urban/ inner city, highly diverse/ primarily white British, significantly deprived/more affluent, vocational/academic/tertiary. She has been the senior lead for curriculum and quality in three very different FE colleges (Ofsted ‘requires improvement’, ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’), securing significant performance improvement in her last three posts and taking on the role of inspection nominee in two.

Janet has a particular interest in organisation culture and the role of inspirational leadership in driving positive change. She is a passionate advocate for further and higher education and has always valued the breadth of provision offered by FE and the opportunities this provides for learners from all backgrounds.

Mike was born and educated in Hull, after leaving school he started his working life at the age of 15 as an electrical engineer apprentice with television company Rediffusion. This role eventually led him into various senior management positions within the security industry, before moving to Lincoln in 2007 with his wife Jill to be closer to their family.

Having over 35 years significant experience and knowledge in a range of high-performance business sectors Mike’s expertise includes management performance, team building, people development, and strategic company collaboration.

Mike is now semi-retired and holds the elected position as Area Lead in Lincolnshire for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and is an advisory board member of the East Midlands Business Resilience Centre.

Mike is particularly passionate about education and achieves great satisfaction from making a positive contribution to improving peoples’ lives. He is committed to promoting ways in which businesses can engage with young people to help and support quality apprenticeships within today's changing workplace.

Mike is an experienced chairman of both private and education sector organisations and is a keen volunteer supporter of Bishop Grosseteste University. His goal in life is to inspire others and to give back in any way he can. Mike is regular speaker at the BGU career and employability awards events and can always find the time to mentor our students. He has also worked alongside our BG Futures team on the Specialist Industry Educator Programme and more recently chaired the BGU/LORIC steering group from the start in 2018.

In 2013 Mike was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours for services to education and skills and is the FSB’s Lead Apprenticeship Champion for the East Midlands. He is also the Chair of the Lincolnshire Cyber Security Forum and is an active trustee of several local charities.

Share in our virtual ceremonies

Our virtual ceremonies will be taking place between Monday 19 and Thursday 22 July. They will be live-streamed on our website and will be available to view afterwards by clicking here.