Addressing post-16 Basic Skills in England: Ten Years On
12th June 2008 17:30 - 20:00
Susan Pember - Director, FE, Learning and Skills Performance Group, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
Elvin Hall, Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London,
This lecture looked at the challenges faced in 1998 after the OECD's International Adult Literacy Survey showed the extent of literacy and numeracy problems among the UK's adult population - challenges which were confirmed by the 1999 report of the independent 'Moser' working group on adult basic skills. Susan Pember reflected on the Skills for Life strategy launched by the Government in 200l, assess its achievements since then - and looked at the future of basic skills policy and practice.
There was a response to Susan's lecture from Professor John Bynner - Institute of Education
Susan Pember is currently the Director for the FE and Skills Performance Directorate at the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. She leads on matters of FE, and is responsible for the Learning and Skills Council sponsorship. She has held this post since the beginning of 2004.
Susan was appointed Director in 2000 when she joined the Department for Education and Skills as Head of the Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit. Her remit was later extended to include Apprenticeships and Offender Learning. She has a solid track record in FE and sound experience of basic skills needs. In 1991 she became Principal of Canterbury College, and under her the student numbers doubled. She began her career in further education as a lecturer in fashion and textiles at Redbridge College, London and worked as a senior education officer at Enfield council before taking over at Canterbury in 1991.
She was awarded an OBE for 21 years of service to further education in 2000. Most recently she was awarded an honorary doctorate for her work on widening participation in Kent by the University of Kent; and in 2006 gained a DBA from the University of Hull.