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VTCT Training Provider Mary Pugsley’s work recognised with an MBE

We are delighted to hear that VTCT Training Provider Mary Pugsley, founder and owner of Hair @The Academy in Exeter, has been awarded Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to disadvantaged people in Devon.

The award comes as part of The Queen’s 2019 New Year Honours List, which recognises the achievements and services of a select number of people in the UK every year.

Mary is a champion of the education sector, working tirelessly to support those furthest removed from education or work-place environments; with disabilities, additional needs or in the care system, from as young as 13 who are battling against the odds.

Hair@theAcademy, at the Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education has been running since 2014. This unique programme supports vulnerable young people and adults not in education, employment or training and offers VTCT qualifications in health & beauty, hairdressing and barbering.

Mary says “We know we’re delivering the best occupational standards with VTCT” and thinks that the qualifications fit so well with what she strives to achieve. She and her team have been working with us  at VTCT for over 10 years and have a very high success rate with their students.  They have plans to expand their service to enable them to help more learners into employment, and are currently seeking support from the industry to help them fit out new salon premises when the academy moves next year, as they don’t receive any direct funding.

Mary says that she feels “very humble” to have received an MBE, and is keen to also praise the dedicated team she has around her, and of course her amazing students.

Congratulations Mary!


Mary and Hair @ The Academy also feature in a previous story on our blog – click here to read about Devon’s homeless ‘Learn to Trade’ scheme