An 86-year-old man who has dedicated his life to working in education is to become the oldest person from the University of Bath to receive a degree.
Alan Radford will receive a PhD for his thesis ‘The Abolition of the Inner London Education Authority’ during the University’s winter graduations at the Assembly Rooms in Bath on Wednesday (16 December).
Alan, who lives in London, got his first degree, a BA in Economics and Geography from the University of Leeds in 1948.
He went on to do a postgraduate Diploma in Education at Leeds before becoming a teacher.
By the age of 35 he was a headteacher in Teeside. He then went on to become the District Education Inspector for Hammersmith and Fulham and later Divisional Inspector responsible for over 100 schools.
Alan also holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and an MA in Geography from Durham University.
He said: “When I retired I found I had made a mistake, I needed to carry on working. I had to do something so I went back to work part-time and started studying again.
“In the 1980s Margaret Thatcher decided to abolish the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). The ILEA had been an education authority since 1870 and I felt that it was a fundamental mistake to abolish it.
“My thesis is a critical study of the ILEA with reference to policy making.”
Hugh Lauder, Professor of Education and Political Economy and Head of the Policy and Management Research Group at the University of Bath, said: “This is the first sustained investigation into why the Inner London Education Authority was abolished.”
“Given the significance of this event for education and educational policy, it is surprising that Alan Radford was the first to subject the reasons for its closure to analysis.
“The thesis is written in an approachable style and the external examiner commented that it should be published as a book.”
Alan is one of more than 700 students receiving their degrees over the next two days.
The six ceremonies will take place tomorrow (Tuesday 15 December) and Wednesday (16 December), and honorary graduates include Deputy Chairman of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Ed Smith; and former Head of Biology & Biochemistry and appointed Emeritus Professor by the University of Bath, Professor Anthony Rees.
Students from the Division for Lifelong Learning, School of Health, School of Management, Faculty of Engineering & Design, Faculty of Science, and Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences will all be receiving their degrees.
The ceremonies take place at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm on both days.