Saffron Walden headteacher’s work recognised by Prime Minister David Cameron

David Barrs

David Barrs - Credit: Archant

An Essex headteacher’s passion for spreading the message of the United Nations among his students - leading to an important role in the development of the International Baccalaureate - has been honoured by the Prime Minister.

David Barrs, 60, from the Anglo European School in Willow Green, has been named a Point of Light by David Cameron after dedicating over 30 years of his life to spreading the UN’s message of inclusivity - enabling more than 400 young people to visit the UN in Geneva and New York City.

The award recognises outstanding individual volunteers, such as people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.

Mr Barrs’ achievements in his career include writing UN kits to mark the 50th anniversary of the UN in 1995.

The kits contained teaching materials for primary school and Key Stages 3 and 4 based on the principle that the UN provides relevant context for the teaching of any National Curriculum subject.

The kit was a great success, with the UN itself asking for an international version and 80,000 copies being produced in 163 countries and 12 languages.

The International Baccalaureate was used as an alternative to the National Curriculum to provide the framework.

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But Mr Barrs achievements do not stop there he has also been awarded the United Nations 50th Anniversary Silver Medal and, in 1997, was awarded International Humanism Award by the International Schools Association.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “David has shown young people the importance of international relations, giving them an understanding of how different nations can work together to do good.

“His work has had an impact across the UK and beyond, with the visits he organises helping to bring learning to life for hundreds of children.”

Mr Barrs said: “The UN and the IB inspire me and have given me the opportunity to make a difference – which I hope in some way I have.”

INFORMATION: If you would like to join Saffron Walden United Nations Association, email