A POPULAR member of staff at a Barrhead school has told of his pride after being named in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.

Joe Herd, who is head of social justice and community at St Luke’s High, has been awarded the MBE for services to community cohesion, education and charity.

And, as he reflected on his fantastic start to 2019, he told how he hopes the award will help to spread the message that school is about more than just studying for exams – it’s an opportunity to learn about life, society and world affairs.

In his role as a pupil support worker, Mr Herd aims to give every child who passes through the doors of the Springfield Road school the best chances in life.

The dad-of-two told the Barrhead News: “Getting the MBE is something which no-one expects. It’s a crazy thing.

“We live in a very rich country. We spend millions on weapons of mass destruction, yet in every class one in three children will be living in poverty.

“All that me and my colleagues want to do is try to chip away at that and do our best to change things.

“I try to bring some value to what already happens inside the classroom.”
Mr Herd’s work sees him offering guidance to pupils on a range of social and cultural issues they may come across inside and outside of the classroom.

The 58-year-old, from Kilmaurs, in East Ayrshire, has been based at St Luke’s High for 13 years and has worked with pupils on a variety of initiatives related to anti-sectarianism, alcohol and drugs, mental health and leadership skills.

He previously worked as a manager for Castlemilk Youth Complex, in Glasgow, for about eight years, after working in local government in community learning and development.

Mr Herd added: “I believe the best way out of poverty for a lot of children is a good education.

“I will keep trying to give kids the best life chances.”