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New Year Honours: Brit School's Nick Williams knighted

Tim Ingham
New Year Honours: Brit School's Nick Williams knighted

Retiring Brit School principal Nick Williams has this morning been given a Knighthood in the New Year Honours list.

As previously reported, he joins the likes of PPL's Fran Nevrkla and Classic FM's Darren Henley - plus Nordoff Robbins David Munns and Pauline Etkin - on the list, all of whom received OBEs.

Williams becomes a 'sir' for services to Education. He is stepping down after a decade at the Brit School in Croydon, which has produced star graduates such as Adele, Amy Winehouse, Katy B, Leona Lewis, Kate Nash, Rizzle Kicks and Jessie J, as well as actors including Robert Emms (War Horse) and Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners).

Last year, the Brit School celebrated its 20th anniversary, when it was revealed by the BPI that its graduates had sold more than 65 million albums globally.

Commenting on his newly bestowed honour, Williams said: “I am delighted to have been given this honour on behalf of everyone who has contributed to the extraordinary success of The Brit School over the years.  It has been a joy to work with so many talented and creative people.”

Since opening its doors in 1991, the Brit School has quadrupled its intake from 300 to 1,200 full-time students who study the national curriculum whilst specialising in a chosen artistic field. 

In 2011/2012, the School maintained its position amongst the top 1% of State schools in the UK.  There are now more than 7,000 alumni of the school employed and contributing to the creative industries. 

Congratulating Williams on his success, BPI Chief Executive and Governor of the Brit School, Geoff Taylor, said: "Nick is thoroughly deserving of this honour and we are delighted he has been officially recognised for his services to education. His commitment to the Brit School and the development of its students over the last twenty years has been second to none.

“We are proud of the work Nick has led with dedication, drive and passion, in building a centre of artistic excellence from scratch whilst developing and maintaining the school's outstanding academic record year-on-year.”

The BRIT School has been the beneficiary of more than £8m from the British record industry, with a substantial annual contribution from the proceeds of the Brit Awards, administered via the record industry’s charity, The Brit Trust.

Adding his congratulations to Nick Williams and other music industry recipients, BPI Chairman and Member of the Brit Trust Board, Tony Wadsworth CBE, said,

“The recognition of Nick Williams in the New Year’s honours list pays tribute to all those who work tirelessly behind the scenes with aspiring young musicians and performers.  Over the years, Nick has been instrumental in supporting and developing talented individuals such as Adele, Leona Lewis, Katie Melua, Jessie J, Rizzle Kicks, Amy Winehouse, Katy B, Kate Nash, and many more.

“Nick’s vision for the school has created a unique environment where creativity is respected and integrated into the learning process.  On behalf of the British record industry, I’d like to thank Nick for his incredible efforts and achievements.

“Our congratulations also go to Pauline Etkin and David Munns for leading the life-changing work of the music therapy charity, Nordoff Robbins, and to PPL Chairman and former CEO, Fran Nevrkla, for his contribution to the British music industry over the last 35 years."

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