In HM The Queen’s Birthday Honours list Dr Sharon McMurray from Belfast received an MBE.

Dr McMurray is an external Examiner at Moray House School of Education for Edinburgh University’s M.A. Primary Education course and is one of the world’s foremost authorities on Special Educational Needs (SEN) literacy.

She specialises in raising standards in literacy and tackling low and underachievement in literacy.

Recent figures released by the National Literacy Forum show that up to 40% of the adult population in the most deprived areas in the UK do not have the literacy skills of an 11 year-old.

The forum concludes that this undermines competitiveness on an economic level and creates even more of a barrier to fairness in society.

Dr McMurray is Principal Lecturer and Head of the SEN Literacy Unit at Stranmillis University College Belfast.

The college principal Dr Anne Heaslett said : ”

For over a decade, Sharon has been a pioneer and innovator in the area of SEN Literacy.

“Sharon is a globally recognised expert in her field, and the positive impact of her work is being felt around the world. As a College, a big part our remit is to shape the future of education policy and practices, ensuring that every child has the chance to realise their full potential and helping build a brighter future for us all.

“Through her research, teaching and continuing professional development activities, Sharon epitomises that ethos of innovative and creative thinking, coupled with a sheer determination and passion to positively impact and change lives.

“Our wholehearted congratulations go to Sharon on being awarded the MBE, and to the teams she has led and worked with over the past decade, who share her vision to bring about meaningful change.”