Dr Sue Pember CBE, Policy Director, Holex

HOLEX is delighted that Sue Pember has been recognised for her work in adult education. Sue has been our Policy Director for four years and has worked relentlessly on behalf of the sector and the adult learner. She is seen as a sector leader in adult and further education and gives her time freely to mentor and support service and college leaders.

Chair of Holex, Pat Carrington, said:

“We are delighted that Sue’s work is being recognised in this New Year’s Honours list. She is a fantastic advocate for adult education and tirelessly supports us all. We are all very excited that adult education and lifelong learning has received recognition in this round of Honours with 5 of our members receiving an honour. We all feel very passionate about our work and we know that, going forward, we need to be centre stage in preparing people for the jobs of the future, improving integration and individual wellbeing.”

Dr Sue Pember CBE, Policy Director, Holex, said:

“I am delighted to receive this honour and regard it as an acknowledgement of the dedication of all those who work in the world of adult education. I am very proud of the adult community education sector and feel this honour is not just about me but also recognises the work the sector does with adults who may have missed out at school and adult education gives them a second chance. 

I hope that everybody who has supported me throughout my career feels some pride in the fact that I have received this honour because I would not be in this position without their help, support and continued enthusiasm, energy and passion for lifelong learning.”

Sue Pember is the Policy Director for HOLEX, which is the sector body for Adult Community Education providers. The ACE sector educates and trains over 600,000 learners annually and 88% of providers are classed as good or outstanding.

Between 2000-2013 she was the lead senior civil servant working with Ministers on post-19 education and skills policies, including Basic Skills, the Skills for Life programme, post-18 funding and workplace learning. In 2006 she led a review of apprenticeships policy, which led to increased investment and renewed interest in work-based learning. She is also the Vice-Chair of Bedfordshire University and has significant experience in all aspects of policy development and education excellence.

Between 1991 and 2000, Sue was the Principal of Canterbury College and before that a Local Education Authority officer, having started her career as a teacher in Textiles and the Clothing Industry.

Her first degree was in Education and, as a part-time mature student, she completed her Doctorate at the University of Hull in 2003.

Sue received an OBE in 1999 for services to Further Education and, in same year, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Kent.

 About HOLEX: HOLEX represents a network of 140+ adult community education (ACE) providers and is the sector membership body for Local Authority Community Learning (ACL) services, Institutes for Adult Learning (IAL) and independent third sector providers of adult education. HOLEX members, through a network of centres in every city and town in England, have the largest geographical reach of all providers of post-19 education and their goal is to work with those often furthest away from employment and society to ensure they are able to progress in life and work.

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