A HEADTEACHER in Somerset has been recognised for her hard work, after being awarded an MBE in this years’ New Year’s Honours.

Emma Cobley, who works at Aurora Foxes Academy in Minehead, has been recognised for her dedication to ensuring young people with learning disabilities achieve their potential.

Despite the pandemic, every student has passed their hospitality exams.

Ms Cobley, 37, said: “Aurora Foxes’ students make me smile every working day. Despite the extra challenges they’ve had to deal with throughout the pandemic, they show resilience, talent and enthusiasm in everything they do.

“This award shines a light on their achievements as much as mine. I am privileged to lead a dedicated team at Aurora Foxes Academy which is giving students with learning disabilities the skills and opportunities that they deserve to become work and life ready.”

Somerset County Gazette: Emma with two of her students - Andrew Lebec and Nia RundleEmma with two of her students - Andrew Lebec and Nia Rundle

Ms Cobley joined the Academy in 2004 and since the start of the pandemic, she has created bubbles to keep staff and students safe, provide accessible hospitality-based work experience and developed a programme so students can continue to have close contact with their families.

Mark Costello, Chief Executive for The Aurora Group said: “Emma’s visionary and innovative leadership has had a hugely positive impact on the wellbeing and safety of students at Aurora Foxes Academy, two-thirds of whom are on the ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ list.

“We are extremely proud of her and all the staff at Foxes in ensuring that our students, who could be disadvantaged during this challenging time, continue to achieve outstanding outcomes.”