Headteacher who helped young Ukrainian refugees to be honoured at Windsor Castle

The headteacher of a school which assisted young Ukrainian refugees and the hatmaker to the late Queen are set to be honoured at Windsor Castle.

Inna Hryhorovych, headteacher of St Mary’s Ukrainian School in Holland Park, will be made an MBE for her services to education and to the Ukrainian community in the UK.

The Ukrainian headteacher, who was named on this year’s King’s Birthday Honours list, helped mould St Mary’s as a school that could provide education and a caring environment to displaced Ukrainian children.

The school has experienced a significant increase in the number of enrolled pupils, rising from 226 to 934 since the start of the Ukrainian war in 2022, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said.

St Mary’s employs 137 staff, 87% of whom were displaced from Ukraine during the war.

Ms Hryhorovych told the council that she “cried” when she learned of the honour.

She said: “My parents were here when the MBE letter arrived and they were really proud – but not all the children here today have the luxury of having parents around them, and we build them for the future. That’s the biggest reward I could wish for.

“We’re so grateful to the kindness of British people who have hosted Ukrainians. If we could ask for British families for one more push with housing, opening their doors to Ukrainians, we do hope this war should have its end. We do hope it should be soon.”

Stella McLaren will receive the Royal Victorian Medal for her milliner service to the late Queen Elizabeth.

MP Sir Benjamin Bradshaw and vaccination scientist Dr Parvinder Aley will also receive honours at Tuesday’s investiture.

Dr Aley, director of global operations for the Oxford Vaccine Group, will be made an OBE for services to vaccination during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sir Ben, who served in both Sir Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s governments and was only the second MP to be openly gay when elected in 1997, is receiving a knighthood for political and public service.