Innovative UK educator, headteacher John Verdi d'Abbro of London's New Rush Hall school was awarded an OBE in this year's New years Honours list.

The headteacher works with excluded children in East London. As part of his work he employs banks of Macs, iLife and software called Chroma Key to help develop trust, communication and achievement among his pupils.

He received his OBE for services to special needs education. Reacting to the honour, a note on the Merlin John website reveals the headteacher said: “I really hope I can use the award to raise the profile of the work of our sector and try and bring about a greater understanding of the needs of troubled children and those with mental heath needs.

"I think the time has come to raise the importance and understanding of how digital creativity has the propensity to play such an important role in people’s learning.”

Almost entirely Mac-based, New Rush is a school for kids with behavioural, emotional or social difficulties. It aims to help children control their behaviour and to return them to learning — and Apple technologies are helping the school achieve results.

Each child and staff member has a Mac notebook. Classrooms have inteactive White Boards, and iPods are also used within the teaching syllabus.

d'Abbro explains: "Apple's digital technology is proving to be such a wonderful aid to teaching and learning in our school. It encourages even those with the most severe problems to express themselves better and helps raise their self-esteem so that they want to go on and achieve even more."

Apple UK and Ireland managing director Mark Rogers talked about the school to Macworld UK. He remarked that the school has boosted attendance and attainment, and said: "The results they are achieving are incredible.”