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Headteacher, Mary Karaolis* OBE Retires after 34 years at The Ravenscroft School

A number of events have been held to celebrate the career of Mary Karaolis who retires as Headteacher of The Ravenscroft School this summer having served 40 years as a member of the teaching profession.   

Friday 3rd July a Retirement Ball for Mary Karaolis was held at Hendon Hall Hotel attended by the Staff and Governors of The Ravenscroft School as well as Marys husband, Andreas, three sons Christos, Gregory and George and her 92 year old father Gregory Pallicaros.  Chair of Governors Andy Hardy, delivered a speech praising the work of Mrs Karaolis at The Ravenscroft School e.g. I am sure you have read and heard the accolades that have been showered on Mary, I am not going to repeat them all however that Mary was judged outstanding by Ofsted barely scratches the surface. Mary has been asked by Haringey Council to act as School Improvement Partner for 4 Schools and this will carry on past her retirement. Over the last 10 years Mary has led our school with Passion, Commitment, Dedication, Loyalty and tireless hard work. Lastly I would like to highlight the words of another Head Teacher colleague of yours Mary who said Mary has significantly improved the life chances of thousands of young people.  Can you imagine the effort that one puts in to have that said of you, think if someone said that of us! 

Monday 13th July following The Ravenscroft School Conference Dinner Mary had a surprise This Is Your Life Mary Karaolis OBE book and projector screen display commencing with a photo of her father in the Middlesex Regiment during World War II and including photos of Mary as a child with her parents, her graduation, her early years at The Ravenscroft School, her marriage, her three young sons, her Long Service Award and Civic Award from Barnet Local Authority and her Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary International. Details regarding the photos and Marys life were read by Deputy Headteachers Phil Whitehouse and Paul Wollaston.  The surprise was even greater with the appearance at the event of two of her sons, Gregory and George, the former of whom had provided the photographs and details for the surprise. 

Friday 17th July a retirement reception for Mary Karaolis was held at The Ravenscroft School attended by the Worshipful the Mayor of the London Borough of Barnet, Cllr Brian Coleman, who is also a long serving member of the Governing Body, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet, Theresa Villiers, Member of the European Parliament for London, Marina Yannakoudakis, Barnets  Chief Executive , Nick Walkley, Barnets Director of Childrens Service, Robert McCulloch-Graham, Deputy Director Schools and Learning, Martin Baker, other Local Authority Officers and Barnet Councillors . Headteachers from Primary and Secondary Schools were also present as were the Governors and friends of the school.  Chair of Governors, Andy Hardy, acted as Master of Ceremonies;  The Mayor delivered a speech congratulating Mary on her OBE listed in the Queens 2009 Birthday Honours and praising Marys hard work, dedication and loyalty to The Ravenscroft School, her outstanding leadership of the school and excellent service she has provided for thousands of young people;  Martin Baker delivered a speech praising Marys loyalty and service to the London Borough of Barnet, the support and mentoring she has provided for fellow heads and the contribution she has made to numerous initiatives and developments in the Local Authority.

Mary Karaolis said: "I retire after 40 years in the most significant profession in society. What could be more important than teaching, which involves educating and contributing to the development of young people, who will be tomorrows citizens, professionals and leaders.  "It has been a privilege and a source of much pride, happiness and enjoyment to have been at The Ravenscroft School for so many years. The students are fantastic as you can see from the students who are here and whom you have been complimenting, the staff are excellent, the Governors dedicated and The Ravenscroft School is Outstanding.  "I leave with many wonderful memories.

Mary Karaolis

Mary's Students


* Mary she is the president of the Association of Rizokarpasso in Britain


The press release used by Parikiaki, Eleftheria and the English local newspapers for Mary's Karaolis award ness of an OBE in The Queen's Birthday Honours list. 

The headteacher of The Ravenscroft School, Mary Karaolis has been honoured in Queen's 2009 birthday honours list for her outstanding work as headteacher at the school. The citation printed in the London Gazette on 13th June 2009 stated: "Headteacher, The Ravenscroft School and Technology College, Barnet, London. For services to Education". Mrs Karaolis has been headteacher at the school for 10 years becoming headteacher in 1999. The Ravenscroft School had an OfSTED inspection in January 2008, and was part of an OfSTED survey in September 2008 on both occasions it was judged by Her Majesty's Inspectors to be "Outstanding". Mrs Karaolis is pictured above with Christine Gilbert, the Chief Inspector of Schools, receiving the schools "Outstanding School" award.
Mrs Karaolis has been a teacher at the school for 34 years, joining in 1975 as Deputy to the then headteacher Sydney Hutchinson. She is also a member of the National College for School leaders, a Consultant Leader, a Coach & Mentor Leader, a School Improvement Partner for four schools in Haringey and has worked tirelessly in the Greek Cypriot community. Mrs Karaolis said "I am thrilled to be honoured in this way. Not just for myself, but also for my school, my staff, our children and their parents, the school governing body, our sponsors and my family. It is an honour I share with them". Mrs Karaolis retires as headteacher at the end of this academic year. Mrs Karaolis will be invited to Buckingham Palace to be invested by her Majesty the Queen as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).




Britannia Road, London, N12 9RU.

Tel: 020 8445 9999 Fax: 020 8445 9977 www.cypriotfederation.org.uk

Federation News Bulletin

It is time for Turkey to meet its obligations on Cyprus and for the island to be reunited.

This was the clear message that  dominated a frenzied 48 hours of activity which has seen the Cyprus cause boosted by weighty political support from all three main parties in the UK, from both Houses of Parliament and from the UKs Cypriot community itself.

 A meeting in Parliament on Tuesday night, 3rd March 2009, hosted by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, drew an impressive attendance of British parliamentarians from across the parties, setting a positive tone for the following night when the Federations Secretariat hosted a dinner for Minister for Europe, Caroline Flint MP, at its headquarters in North London.

The meeting in Parliament, chaired by Federation President Peter Droussiotis, was co-sponsored by a dozen parliamentary supporters of the Cyprus cause, from both Houses of Parliament. Veteran Cyprus stalwarts such as Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, Alan Meale MP, Lord Dubs, Roger Gale MP and former MP Tom Cox were joined at the extremely well attended event by friends of Cyprus with significant British Cypriot constituencies such as  Theresa Villiers MP for Chipping Barnet and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport , Andy Love MP for Edmonton, David Burrowes MP for Enfield Southgate and Shadow Justice Minister, Andrew Dismore MP for Hendon, Lynne Featherstone MP for Hornsey & Wood Green, as well as key members of the front opposition benches including Mark Francois MP, Shadow Minister for Europe, and long standing friend of the Cypriot community Simon Hughes MP, Lib Dem Shadow Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change. Other parliamentary friends of Cyprus present at the event were David Lepper MP, Rudy Viz MP, Jim Sheridan MP and David Ames MP.   

Peter Droussiotis and Caroline Flint MP

In all, fifteen parliamentarians attended the meeting with all speakers pledging support for current efforts to end the division of the island and reunite Cyprus. Several speakers emphasised the need to seek the active engagement of President Obamas administration with the issue, while others suggested that Junes European elections can provide opportunities to lobby politicians of all parties in the UK and beyond in relation to Cyprus.

Other common themes included the cautious optimism felt by many parliamentarians in the light of the strength of Cyprus President Christofiass resolve to seek a negotiated and comprehensive settlement, the urgent need for real political pressure to be applied on Turkey from the UK, other EU members and the US so that that country shows, through its actions, that it is committed to the process of reunification, and the continuing tragedy of the many people still missing and unaccounted for since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

On Wednesday evening, 4th March 2009, the Minister for Europe, Ms Caroline Flint MP, echoed many of her colleagues statements from the previous day when she spoke of her optimism for a solution in Cyprus. She went on to assure the Federations President and Executive that a workable and lasting solution to the division of Cyprus is a very high priority. She spoke of how the already strong cultural and commercial ties between Cyprus and the UK would be made event stronger upon a settlement in Cyprus.  

Peter Drousiotis, Andy Love, Loed Dubs and Mark Francois MP in discussion

Ms Flint went on to say that a great responsibility also falls upon Turkey, saying that Ankara needs to provide more visible and practical support, adding that she and the UK government had pressed this message strongly with the Turkish government. 

Peter Droussiotis chaired the meeting and opened discussions by talking of his own hopes for Cyprus in the context of on-going negotiations between the two leaders, saying that British Cypriots have been encouraged by the Ministers active engagement with the issue of Cyprus in the last few months, but that persistent pressure must be applied on Turkey to take the steps necessary to meet its obligations on Cyprus.   

He added that: These obligations include specific and very clear requirements set out in the EUs Turkey Negotiating Framework  at the core of which is the need for Turkey to work for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework and in line with the principles on which the Union is founded.  

The Minister took questions and answers over the course of the evening, which was attended by virtually all of the elected members of the Federations Secretariat representing more than 70 community organisations which are members of the Federation.  

For more information on all of the above, please visit www.cypriotfederation.org.uk


Video footage of the House of Commons event on 3rd March can be found at the following link:




Britannia Road, London, N12 9RU.

Tel: 020 8445 9999 Fax: 020 8445 9977 www.cypriotfederation.org.uk

27 November 2008


Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledges closer dialogue with UK Cypriots


Prime Minister Gordon Brown today reiterated the UK's support for negotiations over an end to the division of Cyprus at a meeting with the leader of the Cypriot community in the United Kingdom, Mr Peter Droussiotis, at 10 Downing Street.

Mr Brown, Mr Droussiotis (President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK) and Haris Sophoclides (President of POMAK the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots) met to discuss Cypriot community relations, the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Cyprus and the UK earlier this year and developments around the direct negotiations now under way on the island which are aimed at reunifying Cyprus and its people. 

Mr Droussiotis said that the meeting had been a much needed, positive re-engagement between the British Cypriot community and Downing Street:

"We had a warm and constructive meeting with the Prime Minister and we agreed to develop a more regular dialogue between the UK Cypriot community and the British Government. This initiative comes at a time of critical developments on the island of Cyprus.

"I believe that a channel of communication between the UK Cypriot Federation and 10 Downing Street will help inform Her Majesty's Government's stance on the Cyprus problem. It will also enable our community, which is an integral part of British society, to enhance its contribution to the development of British domestic and foreign policy on so many issues of common interest and concern."

Mr Droussiotis added that he was heartened by the Prime Minister's enthusiasm for his Government to maintain a close dialogue with the Cypriot community in the UK.

Left to right: Peter Droussiotis, the Prime Minister and Haris Sophoclides.

For more information please call Tony Sophoclides on 07887 935 335. 

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From: NFC Press Office <pressenquiries@cypriotfederation.org.uk>
Date: 2008/7/22
Subject: Cypriots petition Gordon Brown and rally for justice
To: pressenquiries@cypriotfederation.org.uk


Britannia Road, London, N12 9RU.

Tel: 020 8445 9999 Fax: 020 8445 9977 www.cypriotfederation.org.uk





UK Cypriots and British politicians across the political spectrum turned out in force today to condemn Turkey's continuing illegal military occupation of the northern part of Cyprus, and to demand that the UK Government, as a guarantor power of Cyprus's independence, act decisively to press Turkey to withdraw its occupying army and to work actively for a solution of the island's division which will be for the benefit of the people of Cyprus. 

The day of protest was the culmination of a series of evens organised by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK to mark the tragic events of July 1974 in Cyprus, namely the criminal coup by the military junta then ruling Greece and the illegal invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish army which followed.

The rally started with a picketing outside the Turkish embassy and a march through central London and culminated with rallying cries in Trafalgar Square from President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Peter Droussiotis, British politicians and main speaker, Stefanos Stefanou, Cyprus Government Spokesman, all of whom called upon Turkey to match the good will and determination shown by new President of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, in his efforts to reach a just , viable and lasting settlement  which will reunite Cyprus in the interest of all of the island's people, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins.   

Earlier, en route to Trafalgar Square from the Turkish Embassy, where Mr Droussiotis handed in a letter of protest to the Turkish Ambassador demanding goodwill from his government, a Federation Executive delegation delivered a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, urging his government to use its influence over Turkey and to fulfil its obligations as a Guarantor Power of the independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus.

In his introductory speech at the rally, Mr. Droussiotis lamented the fact that "34 years after the invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish army, the division of Cyprus remains a tragic failure of leadership by the international community to hold Turkey to account for its naked use of force and its continuing disregard for the rule of law." He also called upon the UK government and friends of Cyprus to push hard for a solution that will "reunite the territory, the people, the institutions and the economy of the island, in the framework of a bi-zonal, bi-communal, Federal Republic, a state with a single sovereignty, international personality and a single citizenship."          

Stefanos Stefanou, Cyprus Government Spokesman, highlighted the courageous steps taken by President Christofias in the last few months and called upon the UK and the international community to support the President's efforts so that the process currently under way finally leads to a reunited Cyprus in which the human rights of all its citizens will be restored and safeguarded.

British MPs and MEPs collectively called on the UK government to take practical steps in order to ensure that the latest wave of optimism over Cyprus is not squandered and that the opportunity now presented for the negotiation of a comprehensive and durable settlement which will liberate Cyprus from the Turkish military occupation and forcible division of the last 34 years is fully developed.  

Two MPs, Eddie O'Hara (Lab, Knowsley South) and Andrew Dismore (Lab, Hendon) addressed the rally in Greek, speaking of their optimism for the future but the need for pressure on Turkey to be sustained. Simon Hughes MP (Lib Dem, North Southwark and Bermondsey), who has attended all of the annual Federation rallies for 25 years, said:

"The next 12 months present an unequalled opportunity to advance progress and deliver a solution. A combination of the two leaders' willingness to do business and the 2009 EU elections putting Cyprus on the agenda offers opportunities for real progress."

Andy Love MP (Lab, Edmonton) welcomed the recent Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Cyprus. He said:

"It underscores the UK's commitment to reunification. I urge a start to formal direct negotiations in which the UK should encourage Turkey to take a part."

Theresa Villiers MP (Con, Chipping Barnet) lamented the 34 years without a solution:

"It is tragic that after so many years, Cypriots still have to gather in Trafalgar Square to protest about the division of the island. I pledge to keep the pressure on the UK Government."

Alan Meale MP (Lab, Mansfield) took the UK Government to task:

"It's a disgrace that our Government a Guarantor Power of Cyprus hasn't solved this crisis. It's a blemish on the UK and on the EU that the division of Cyprus still remains"

Charles Tannock, a Member of the European Parliament for London, called upon the US to bring influence on the process seeking a settlement and called upon the US Presidential candidates to commit themselves to solving the Cyprus problem.

Rudi Vis MP (Lab, Finchley & Golders Green), said that this year had seen improvements:

"At least the leaders are talking to each other. What we want for the coming year is deeds and actions. I look forward to 2009 being even more successful."

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Demetris Christofias, is due to meet with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community on the island, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, on Friday 25th July 2008 in order to review progress so far and whether direct substantive negotiations between them in order to reach an agreed solution should commence in the near future. 

Notes to editors

-          Video footage, photos of the event, scripts of speeches made by the Federation President and the Cyprus Government Spokesman at the Trafalgar Square Rally and copies of the Federation's letters submitted to the Prime Minister and the Turkish Ambassador in London will be available soon on the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK website at www.cypriotfederation.org  

-          Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish military forces invaded the northern part of the island and thereafter occupied approximately 38% of its territory.

-          The National Federation of Cypriots in the United Kingdom was founded shortly after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and has since represented the largest community of Cypriots outside of the island itself.

-          The Federation is an umbrella organisation of the Cypriot community associations across the UK and seeks to coordinate the activities of more than 300,000 Britons of Cypriot origin.

Andy Love MP (Lab, Edmonton)

Outside from the Turkish Embassy

Theresa Villiers MP (Con, Chipping Barnet)




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