40 Years of Busy Bees

Busy Bees group chief quality officer Gill Jones receives MBE at Buckingham Palace

Published: 16/06/2023

Curved shape
Busy Bees

Busy Bees Nurseries’ Group Chief Quality Officer, Gill Jones, has received an MBE in recognition of her services to Education.

The top early years advisor was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire medal in the King’s New Year’s honours list which was presented to her by the Princess Royal at an investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

Gill said: “Ensuring every child gets the highest quality of education to thrive and succeed in life has been my passion from my first teaching role and I feel extremely privileged to have my work recognised in this way.

“Receiving the MBE is an extraordinary honour, and I was so proud to be able to share this moment with my family.”

Gill was formerly one of HM Inspectors and Ofsted’s Deputy Director for Schools and Early Education Policy and, prior to that, a headteacher. She says her life's work is ensuring every child can get off to a great start in learning to read.

The Liverpool-based expert joined Busy Bees this year to further develop the educational offering of the international nursery group, drawing on her wide teaching and regulatory experience.

“I already had an excellent professional relationship with Busy Bees, through my work at Ofsted, and was aware of the company’s commitment to quality,” said Gill. “So, I was delighted to join a team of like-minded people who share my values and want to ensure the highest standards are delivered across the group.”

Her focus since joining the business has been researching quality and safeguarding across the group’s global settings, ensuring each territory is able to learn from the worldwide best practice experience. 

Busy Bees European Chief Executive Officer, Chris McCandless, said: “Gill Jones is known and respected throughout the sector, and we are thrilled to see her receive this honour in recognition of her commitment to improving educational outcomes for children across the UK.”

From its 1983 beginnings in Staffordshire, Busy Bees has become a worldwide success story and the company now cares for almost 100,000 children every day across 10 countries – the UK, Ireland, Italy, Canada, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand.  
Co-founder Marg Randles added: “This year we are celebrating 40 years of giving children the best start in life, and the appointment of Gill Jones to our senior leadership team was a key step in planning the continued improvement of early years care and education for the next four decades and beyond.

“Everyone at Busy Bees is incredibly proud that Gill has been recognised at this national level for her dedication to educational excellence.”

Busy Bees released a short film looking back at its heritage and reaffirming its commitment to delivering high quality childcare and early years education.