Cardiff and Vale College Group Principal Kay Martin awarded MBE

2 Jun 2022

Kay Martin, the Group Principal for Cardiff and Vale College has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list 2022 for services to Education in Wales.

Arguably among one of the most influential education leaders in the country, Kay is Group Principal of the fifth largest college group in the UK and the largest in Wales.

During her time as Principal the innovative College has become one of the largest and most successful colleges in the UK. Winning prestigious national awards, increasing student success rates, establishing unique and transformational approaches to learning, and supporting innovative business growth; all whilst working in a region with the most diverse landscape in the country.

Kay takes a hugely influential role in transforming education and training across the Capital region of Wales that spans Further Education, Higher Education, Work-Based Learning, Adult and Community Learning and Secondary Education.

Chair of the Colleges Wales Curriculum and Quality Group; a Governor of two of the region’s secondary schools; a member of Business in the Community, Wales Leadership Board and a lead provider of one of the largest work-based learning contracts in Wales.

Born in Aberdare, Kay studied Hospitality Management before qualifying as a teacher and taking up a post at Aberdare College where she eventually became Assistant Principal. An advocate of lifelong learning, Kay completed an MSc in Education Management and joined Barry College as Vice Principal in 2003. Later becoming Acting Principal of Barry College, Kay played a key role in the merger which saw the creation of Cardiff and Vale College in 2011.

On receiving the news of her MBE, Kay said:

“I am shocked and humbled to receive this honour. I have always been driven when it comes to education and about increasing the opportunities available to young people so it’s lovely to receive this recognition for something I care so much about.

“I have been fortunate to work with an incredible team of people over the years here at Cardiff and Vale College, and throughout my whole career, and to have a wonderfully supportive family, who have all played their part in this.

“I feel as strongly now as I did at the start of my career about the role education plays in addressing inequalities that still exist in our society and in supporting everyone to achieve their potential.”