Knighthood award for headteacher

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Alan Shearer, David Bailey and the yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur are among the familiar faces recognised today in a Birthday Honours list dominated by metropolitan arts figures, public-sector workers and community volunteers.

The headteacher of Thomas Telford City Technology College in Telford, the most successful comprehensive school in the country, is awarded a knighthood. Kevin Satchwell said: "It really isn't an award for me. It's for the fantastic kids and staff."

Dudley Moore, the actor, comedian and musician, is appointed CBE, as is John Galliano, the flamboyant king of couture. Professor Simon Schama, whose televised History of Britain attracted wide acclaim, is also appointed CBE. James Galway, the flautist, is knighted, as is Terry Farrell, the modern architect who recently called for the walls around Buckingham Palace to be torn down. The actress Eileen Atkins becomes a dame.

Downing Street said that the honours list was a tribute to "outstanding service" and this year particularly recognised those "who work at the sharp end".

"Nearly half of the awards have gone to people from the voluntary sector," said the Prime Minister's official spokesman, "and nearly half are from nominations from the public."

Among the more unusual talents recognised by the Queen are those of Mrs Janet Eagleton, from Perth and Kinross, who is appointed an MBE "for services to sporran-making".