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11 January 2013
The Institute for Learning (IfL) is pleased to announce that Baroness Helena Kennedy QC has pledged her support for teachers and trainers in further education and skills and their professional body by becoming an IfL patron.
Baroness Kennedy is a leading barrister and expert in human rights law, civil liberties and constitutional issues; a member of the House of Lords; chair of Justice; a fellow of City & Guilds; and a supporter of further education and its vital role in addressing disadvantage. She is the principal of Mansfield College, University of Oxford, which since the 1880s has prided itself on offering previously excluded constituencies access to an Oxford education. From 1991 to 1993, she was a commissioner on the National Commission for Education and subsequently chaired the Further Education Commission into Widening Participation, which led to the publication of her seminal report, Learning Works, in 1997. The report identified that there were over 15 million adults of working age with few or no formal qualifications, many of whom faced significant barriers to continuing with or returning to education.
In 1998, a group of further education college principals and adult educators created a trust in Baroness Kennedy’s name to take forward the recommendations of Learning Works in a practical way, providing bursaries to help the most disadvantaged in society to move into higher education. The Helena Kennedy Foundation has helped hundreds of students from further education sector colleges nationally to progress to and graduate from university.
IfL’s elected chair, Sue Crowley, said, “We are thrilled that Helena Kennedy has accepted our invitation to become a patron of IfL. She is widely respected for her skills as an advocate and social reformer, which have taken her into many different fields of activity, and she is known for delivering positive and concrete change in whatever work she undertakes. Her association with IfL as a very distinguished patron will help raise awareness of our distinctive role as a professional body in supporting teachers’ and trainers’ professional and career development, increasing their status and highlighting the crucial part they play in widening participation and transforming the life chances of millions of learners every year.”