A DEDICATED headteacher visited Buckingham Palace to collect her OBE for services to special needs education.

Sally Davies was honoured in the Queen’s New Year’s List for her work as principal of Thriftwood School in Slades Lane, Galleywood, which works with children from across the autistic spectrum.

The 60-year-old who lives in Eastbourne Grove, Westcliff, was invested as a member of the Order of the British Empire by Prince Charles during a ceremony at the palace.

Alongside Mrs Davies for the Royal trip were her husband peter, 67, and children Hannah, 30, and Douglas, 32.

After receiving her medal on Friday (April 4), She said: “It was a fabulous day and a tremendous honour in recognition of all the work we’ve done together at the school.

“I told Prince Charles the children were very excited I was at the palace and he asked to send his best wishes.

“He was very pleasant but it was all over in a flash.”

Mrs Davies started her career as a French teacher at Shoeburyness High School in 1974 before embarking on a 25-year long career working in special needs education.

For the last 13 years she has been at Thriftwood, where she was instrumental in opening a sixth form in September to help autistic youngsters live independent lives and find work.