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Educational Leaders Who Want To Learn Something Too

Added: (Mon Dec 17 2001)

Pressbox (Press Release) - The average number of ‘why’ questions a four-year-old can ask in a single day can be up to 400, but it not just the younger generation who have a passion for learning and a curious nature. We all have dreams, a talent we would like to develop or an interest we want to pursue. Learning could be the passport to fulfilling that dream in 2002. That is why the lifelong learning charity, the Campaign for Learning, is asking celebrities, business leaders, politicians and influential figures in the world of education to share their New Year’s Learning Resolutions.

Over 100 people including Ministers and high profile figures from Universities, Schools and education bodies have shared their learning pledges with the Campaign in the hope that it will encourage others to learn to make their dreams come true in 2002.

The Campaign has received support from the very top of the educational ladder with a learning resolution from the Secretary of State for Education. The Rt. Honourable Estelle Morris has once again shown her commitment to learning by pledging to continue the progress she made this year with her information technology learning. The Minister is joined by other members of the Department for Education and Skills with an appetite for learning. Stephen Timms, Minister of State for School Standards, hopes to improve his spoken German. Minister of State for Lifelong Learning and Higher Education, Margaret Hodge, has a long learning wish list, including the harp, Russian and physics as well as improving her cooking and piano playing.

The Prime Minister’s Education Policy Advisor, Patrick Diamond, also has learning goals for the New Year. He told the Campaign that he plans to relearn the saxophone, as he would love to be able to play his favourite jazz tunes again.

Leaders of two large education unions have made a pledge to learn something new. Dr John Dunford, General Secretary of Secondary Heads Association, has always wanted to bake the perfect loaf, while David Gibbson, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, is going to learn to use a palm top computer to make his PA’s life easier.

Two influential figures from the world of Education who are moving on to pastures new in 2002 have shared their learning resolutions with the Campaign for Learning. Mike Thomlinson, Chief Inspector of Schools, is planning on enjoying a productive retirement. Similarly Sir Geoffrey Holland, Vice Chancellor of University of Exeter, hopes to enjoy his spare time to the full in the New Year.
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The Executive Director of Norfolk Learning and Skills Council, John Brierley, is a great advocator of personal learning and completed a learning diary for last year’s Learning at Work Day, another Campaign for Learning initiative. Next year John is planning to learn how to use IT more efficiently and effectively, both a professional and personal learning goal.

Learning and improving IT skills is a learning ambition of others in the education sector. Professor Christine King, Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University, includes learning about PowerPoint and spreadsheets in her goals for 2002. Dame Tamsyn Imson, Head Teacher and Beryl Jeffries, from the examining and awarding body Edexcel, both want to get skilled up on their Apple Macs.

Many of those influencing the education sector have musical aspirations. Consultant Eileen Barlex dreams of dancing the Tango and playing the piano, Ian Campbell from Unipart Advanced Learning Systems would love to fulfilling a lifelong ambition to sing properly. The Board Director of Ufi, Frances Hendirx is planning to learn to play the pianola as well as re-learning to drive.

Other high profile New Year’s Learners include Michael Stevenson, Joint Director Factual and Learning at the BBC (learn about Roman Mosaics), Sir Christopher Ball, patron of the Campaign for Learning (learning to draw), and Professor Colin Blakemore from Oxford University (French subjunctives).

To help people realise their learning dream the Campaign for Learning is giving away 350. To enter the prize draw visit the Campaign’s website at www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk and make your learning pledge You could be one step nearer your learning goal that could change your life for the better like Katie Beacon from Northern Ireland who encouragingly pledged to learn to become a teacher.

So whether your dream is to start your own business, re-design the garden or sing in a choir now is the perfect time to start and it need not involve a formal course. Informal learning though reading, television programmes or simply asking a friend for advice can be just as effective for achieving your Learning Resolution.

Notes to Editor
 For more information about the New Year’s Learning Resolutions Campaign contact Louise Thomas on 020 7930 1111 (07976 175 978 out of office hours) or e-mail lthomas@cflearning.org.uk. Representatives from the Campaign for Learning are available for interview. Photos of celebrities available on request.
 Free advice about courses and careers is available by calling learndirect on 0800 100 900.
 Sign Up Now is a biannual event organised by NIACE, the national organisation for adult learning. The campaign seeks to develop and widen access to adult learning by supporting local recruitment. The next campaign runs 5-11 January 2002. For more information please call the Campaigns and Promotions Team at NIACE on 0116 204 4200. Website: www.niace.org.uk/signupnow

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