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Leading figures in education appointed as Professors


Alan TuckettAlan Tuckett was Chief Executive of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) from 1988 to 2011 and launched the annual Adult Learners’ Week. He is currently President of the International Council for Adult Education, and advises UNESCO on lifelong learning.

Peter Lavender is the former Deputy Chief Executive at NIACE, leading on research and development, and is currently an Academic Coordinator at the Open University for the education doctorate there.  He is widely recognised as a national expert in work with learners with disabilities and learning difficulties.  

They have both been appointed as Professors of Education within the University’s Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, working as a job share, and will take up their post from January 2015.

Alan Tuckett said: “The University of Wolverhampton combines a serious commitment to teacher education and research across the full range of lifelong learning from early years to adult learning with a proud national record of success in recruiting students from the least privileged backgrounds and ensuring success for them.”

Dr Peter Lavender said: “I look forward to joining a University with such a commitment to widening participation and to promoting equality and diversity.”

They explained: “Our motivation for taking the post comes from our shared commitment to the values Wolverhampton is committed to, our shared success in
making a difference to opportunities for adults during our time at NIACE, and a recognition that the struggle for equality of opportunity and outcome for all is more challenging than ever now.  We believe the University can make a difference, and we are keen to help.”

Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, Professor Linda Lang, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed Alan and Peter to the University. They are both eminent figures in the field of education, and their knowledge and expertise will be a great asset to our research and teaching.”

Peter Lavender Alan Tuckett OBE spent 38 years running organisations in adult education, and was involved in starting the British adult literacy campaign in the 1970s. He joined NIACE as CEO in 1988, and launched Adult Learners’ Week in 1992, which spread to 55 countries. He worked to persuade ministers and politicians of all sorts of the value of adult learning for more than 20 years, before retiring and being elected President of the International Council of Adult Education in 2011.  Alan is a well known writer and commentator on public policy in the education press and is credited with campaigning successfully for the value of adult learning through many successive governments.  He is an internationally recognised leader in lifelong learning with many honorary degrees and teaches regularly on an international Master’s of lifelong learning programme at a German university. His collected columns for the TES ‘Seriously Useless Learning’ was published by NIACE in September 2014.

Peter Lavender OBE has worked as a school teacher, adult literacy worker, manager of adult education, and a full-time FE inspector.  From 1999 to 2011 Peter was director of research and development at NIACE and the deputy CEO.  He works on the doctoral programme at the Open University. Peter Chairs the Corporation of North Warwickshire and Hinckley College, is a Trustee of the National Extension College in Cambridge and is deputy Chief Assessor for the Association of Colleges Beacon Awards. Peter was co-author of ‘Inclusive Learning’, the report of the Committee of Inquiry into provision for young people and adults with disabilities and special educational needs, and among other reports led NIACE’s Inquiry into English for Adult Speakers of Other Languages.


For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736.

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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