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Your classnotes


We take great pride in the achievements and success of our alumni. We asked them to share in their successes, career changes and promotions and we were inundated.

If you were at the College and would like to tell us what you've been up to recently, email with 75 words of news and a photo.


Sheila Bridger (née King)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Sheila remembers a campus of pre-fabricated buildings (hers was Z3), basic living conditions, forward thinking lecturers and great fellow students. She enjoyed 30 years of happy junior school teaching. She has a number of hobbies and pastimes and is a past chair of the East Riding Flower Club, a sports car enthusiast, golfer and traveller. She has recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Margaret Church (née Mapperley)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

After qualifying, Margaret taught at a primary school in Alton, Hampshire for three years, moving to a school in London’s East End for a further three years. She then moved to Peckham and taught there for 18 years, during which time she married. When her husband retired in 1992 they moved to Orpington and for many years enjoyed their life of country walks and travelling.

Léonore Ham
Certificate in Education 1948-50

After three and a half happy years at a school in Fareham, Léonore returned to be near the family home in Cheddar. She spent four terms at a small school near Weston-Super-Mare and after becoming redundant she immediately moved to a large school in Milton where she stayed for 25 years. Health problems meant retirement in 1980. She later became a carer for two sisters but still had time to pursue her great hobby of photography.

Dorothy Higgs (née Maude)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Dorothy and her husband met at a College dance in 1949 and were married in July 1952 in Giggleswick where she grew up. In 2012 Dorothy and her husband celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary in St Andrew’s Church, Oving.

Diana Howarth (née Holland)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

A resident of ‘L’ block, Diana began her teaching career at Church Central Secondary Modern School in Bury, her home town. Her first class ‘2D’ had many ‘characters’ given to her because she had no pre-conceived ideas about them! Subsequently, after seven years at this school and the birth of two daughters, she moved to live in the North East. Upon returning to Lancashire, she ended her teaching career with juniors at a local school. Diana and Jessie Haslam (who she met at college) attended the 60th reunion – which they thoroughly enjoyed.

Marjorie Joy (née Peart)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Marjorie taught for many years, taking a break to raise a family. She worked in inner city schools in Birmingham and Leeds and later in a village school in Gloucestershire where many of her pupils were from travelling families. She found her training very good with lots of new ideas. The speech training has stayed with her and she can still make herself heard in a room full of people.
Interestingly her daughter Heather followed her to Coventry in the last intake before it became part of the University. Between the two of them they were the first and last.

Eileen King (née Noble)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Gaining a City and Guilds Dressmaking exam I taught needlework in schools. On retirement I turned this skill into teaching needlework in different formats, including covered boxes in numerous designs, plus Christmas articles. This year some of my students from 1953 asked me if I would like to teach them how to make material Christmas crackers. So, 60 years on I am still teaching! How many teachers can say that they are teaching the same people 60 years after being their class teacher!!

Harold Lingard
Certificate in Education 1946-47

Harold, who died in 2012 aged 96, was proud to be the oldest recorded alumnus. Following his time as signal man in the Royal Navy, Harold trained as a teacher at the Emergency Training College for Men, the forerunner to the City of Coventry Training College. He had a varied teaching career as well as dedicating his life to the people in Cumbria. Those attending the 60th Anniversary of teacher training and education at Warwick in 2008 will remember Harold for his spirited appearance when cutting the ‘birthday’ cake.

Marjorie Mawson (née Bennett)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Marjorie’s teaching career spanned over 40 years. Nine happy years were spent in Birmingham gaining experience in infant and junior ages. After the death of her husband, Marjorie returned to Wales to care for her mother but her teaching career continued and she gained a headship when she was 35. She has many happy memories of her time at College: the lectures, the end of term dances, and visits in Coventry on a Saturday afternoon where she viewed a huge bomb crater from a suspension bridge and the utter destruction of the cathedral. She will always be grateful for the solid teacher training she had which supported her throughout her career.

Sylvia Parkinson (née Park)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Sylvia taught in schools in Northampton and Dover areas for 36 years. After retiring she and her husband Walter, visited Gambia. Shortly after arriving Walter had a fall and was helped by Abba, a young man who was 'on the road'.

In return they decided to help him to learn English, doing so for three years and resulting in him becoming a qualified Immigration Officer. The President of Gambia hearing of the work done by Sylvia and her husband invited them to a festival where Abba was able to act as interpreter. Abba married a Police Officer and they called their son, born two years later, Walter.

Mary Rensten (née Cynthia Morton)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Mary taught full and part-time primary until 1987. Meanwhile... married, had three children, took up journalism, mainly interviews. She free-lanced 1976-2009 and also wrote plays for stage - schools, amateur and professional - and radio, TV scripts. Her second novel, A Handful of Straw, was published this year, the story being set in Hertfordshire where she has lived for 52 years. Mary is now a Vice-President of the Society of Women Writers & Journalists and a grandmother!

Wilna Mather Roberts (née Lumsden)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

From the age of 20 Wilna taught in Islington for 10 years. There she taught 44 children with virtually no other equipment than slates and chalks. She married in 1959 and moved to Waltham Abbey where she taught for five years, had two children, moved to Enfield and then Sevenoaks. She did supply teaching for several years before teaching at a junior school for 12 years and becoming a deputy head. She still looks back with gratitude on the wonderful staff and principal, Miss Browne and the excellent training she received at College.

Valerie Waddington (née Douglas)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Valerie taught for two years before marrying and leaving to raise four children. She returned to teaching in 1965 and retired in 1984 to look after her sick husband. After being widowed she travelled abroad several times. In 2000 she had a stroke and is now living in a retirement home in Lincolnshire. Although she’s confined to a wheelchair she still enjoys life with eight grandchildren, three great grandchildren and more on the way!

Joyce Walton (née Copson)
Certificate in Education 1949-51

Joyce’s first post was teaching nursery and infants in Leicester. She married Mervyn Maries in 1955 and taught 6-year olds in Coalville for a year. She then spent 14 years bringing up her family of three sons, for the last four years doing home tuition with ill children. Back to school in Shepshed 1970, teaching reception and then 4+ for 20 years, 15 of which as head of the infant department. She retired in 1990. Joyce was widowed in 1984 and married John Walton in 1996.

Sheila Wood
Certificate in Education 1948-50

On leaving College, Sheila emigrated to Australia as a ‘£10 pommie migrant’, setting sail in October. She had her 21st birthday on board the ship, arriving in Melbourne in November. Her fiancée, having emigrated earlier, was there to meet her. He got a special licence and they were married in December. She started teaching three days later - all very exciting! Sheila taught for four years in primary schools, retrained as a kindergarten teacher and taught for a further 20+ years. Sheila has made several visits to the University in recent years and has enjoyed revisiting the College campus, now Westwood.

Megan Wright (née Jones)
Certificate in Education 1948-50

After leaving College Megan went on to teach in infant schools in Leigh–on-Sea. At College she completed projects, “Cash’s”- name tapes, and “Courtaulds”- rayon and visited a model of the new city development. Megan married in 1952 and became involved in her late husband’s proprietary tennis club. Locally her interests are tennis, keep fit, theatre, travel and the Leigh Horticultural Society. Last year Megan met with Eileen King (née Noble) ,also 1948 -50 intake, after 62 years.

Ruth Yeomans
Certificate in Education 1948-50

Ruth taught for 35 years in three different Coventry schools and was in charge of the art department at Templars’ Girls and Barker’s Butts. During this time she enjoyed another year’s training at Cardiff College of HE. She was involved in organising the annual schools art exhibition and helped set up the first teachers’ centre. Eventually her school merged with Coundon Court Comprehensive and she became a house head for five years. For the remainder of her career she was head of careers until retirement in 1985.

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Juliet Amery (née Leeson)
Certificate in Education 1955 -57

Juliet taught at Foxford School, Coventry for 30 years, undertaking a variety of roles before ‘retiring’ as Head of Sixth Form. She subsequently enjoyed an ‘Indian summer’ working for the Coventry Hospital & Home Tuition Service for 16 years. Juliet was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal by the University of Warwick in 2008 for her work as education alumni representative, tracing hundreds of former City of Coventry Training College / Coventry College of Education students. She currently edits education alumni publications and is membership secretary for the Retired Teachers of ATL in the Heart of England.

Beryl Barnes (née Bray)
Certificate in Education 1950-52

After a happy and valuable time at College, Beryl taught in a secondary modern school for eight years and was made head of its science department. She then took a 10 year break with two young sons before spending 20 years teaching part-time in the science department of Trowbridge Tech.

By chance she met Kathleen Hanks, her education lecturer, when she was visiting Trowbridge in the 1970s. Their friendship lasted until her death in a local nursing home. Kathleen was on top form mentally and visits to her were a pleasure.

On retirement, Beryl volunteered with a homeless drop-in centre for some years and she is still involved in church work. She enjoys her hobby of lace making.

May Davisworth (née Baldwin)
Certificate in Education 1955-58

After completing her initial teacher training, May stayed on at College to complete an additional year, specialising in teaching mathematics in secondary schools. She was supported by a grant from the West Riding of Yorkshire on condition that she returned to the area to begin her teaching career. The additional year’s training enabled May to teach students from 11-18. She later obtained a degree in mathematics via the Open University. May enjoys travelling having visited China and India in the last year.

Richard Digby Day
Certificate in Education 1958-60

Since Coventry and a year’s teaching at Shipston-on-Stour High School (1960-61), Richard has been a Leverhulme Scholar, the first student of education at RADA and director of five British regional theatres including York, Exeter and Nottingham. He has been artistic director of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and worked extensively in Canada, Ireland, Denmark and the US (where he was director of the National Theatre Institute 1990-98). He has directed in the West End and all over the UK and directed and taught at many theatre schools. He was also Chairman of RADA’s Associates and has served on many committees for art organisations. He continues to work…

Susan Dorris (née Birdsall)
Certificate in Education 1959-61

Susan has taught in elementary schools in England, Australia and the USA. She now lives in Gainesville, Georgia. Susan retired in 2008 and works as a substitute teacher at her old school. She has two sons, three stepchildren, five grandchildren and six step-grandchildren.

Maureen Fletcher (née Fawcett)
Certificate in Education 1956-58

After qualifying as a teacher in 1958, Maureen worked in three secondary schools in Coventry before being employed in the Coventry Hospital Service. She taught in five Coventry hospitals, all ages as well as all subjects. She also went out to excluded children, pregnant school girls and children with medical problems who could not attend mainstream school - teaching these children in their own homes. Maureen remained in the Service until her retirement, thoroughly enjoying her 17 years as a hospital teacher.

Enid Harvey (née Haylock)
Certificate in Education 1955-57

Enid looks back on her two years at the College as a really happy time while still being quite hard work! Enid married John in 1960 and they have two sons and gorgeous twin grandsons. She taught locally until back trouble caused her to retire. She puts that down to bending to the little ones, putting up apparatus and lifting the children but she enjoyed it. Enid has very happy memories of her time at College and still keeps in touch with some of the people she met.

Ann Jenkins (née Edwards)
Certificate in Education 1957-59

Ann was born community minded, starting in the 1950s when she was Brown Owl and the first Lady Chairman of Young Farmers.

In addition to her career in teaching she has had three children and now has six grandchildren ranging from 5 to 20 years. Ann has taught basketry classes; been Clerk to Orleton Parish Council, Chariman of Ladies Circle, Church Warden, holding PCC meetings in her own home, Clerk to Trustees of Village Charity, Co-organiser of Luncheon Club for the Elderly, Community Library co-ordinator, Church flower arranger and visits the local school weekly to hear readers.

When her husband retired from teaching due to deafness in the 1980s they set up a craft business which produces rocking horses, nativity sets and they also do sign writing. Together they have written books about their local social and industrial history. A busy life!

Alison Laughton (née Johnson)
Certificate in Education 1957-59

Alison went to her home town to teach for two years, in fact to the junior school where she had been a pupil! She then taught in two different primary schools in Leeds. Alison married a service man and spent two years teaching at RAF Khormaksar in Aden. She then had some time off to bring up her three sons. For the last 25 years Alison has been at a special school in Newbury.

Anne Meade (née Lea)
Certificate in Education 1958-60

Anne left school at 16 as her father thought that education was wasted on a woman. It wasn’t until 1958, as a mature student that she fulfilled her dream of becoming a teacher. Miss Brown suggested that she undertake voluntary teaching at a school before entering college and this same school was where she began and ended her career, returning there after bringing up her family. She retired in 2000, aged 65, but has continued with supply/private tuition and still invigilates in schools.

Olwen Offord (née Nunn)
Certificate in Education 1955-58

Olwen initially 'retired' in 1998 but missing teaching returned and finally retired in 2010, having always taught in Suffolk. She had a varied career in the primary, secondary and FE sectors. She is now a voluntary helper for about 10 hours a week at the village school where she taught 40 years ago.

Olwen is currently researching for her third and fourth local history books. She still cycles, plays tennis, makes jams and chutneys, sews, experiments with other crafts and enjoys cruising!

Ann Wood (née Spencer)
Certificate in Education 1956-58

Ann lived in Arden during her College years. After teaching in the UK for five years, she had two children. She then migrated to Sydney, Australia, had another child and later returned to primary school teaching. In her middle years Ann changed course into diversional therapy in a retirement village, teaching craft and stimulating activities. At the same time she attained her Teacher’s Diploma of Education. The later years of her career were in technical and further education, teaching reading and writing for adults and English as a second language to adult students. This was rewarding work combining her two previous teaching careers.

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Phil Albans
B.Ed (Music) 1969-73 and MA in Religious Education 1998-2000

Now retired, Phil spent 35 years teaching in Coventry primary schools including eight years in headship. Phil worked at national level in RE including consultancy/advisory work with QCA/DFE. He has been married for 41 years to Pam and has two children and two grandchildren.

Harvey Andrews
Certificate in Education 1961-64

Harvey taught for one year then went in to music as a singer/songwriter in the folk/rock field. He retired from full time performance in October 2012 after 15 albums, Old Grey Whistle Test, John Peel sessions, Radio 4 Kaleidoscope special, two BBC TV specials, festivals, tours in 18 countries, TV theme songs, a stage musical and a book, a section of which deals with my time at ‘Canley’. He lives in the Shropshire hills doing occasional gigs for local charities. See for more.

David Bishop
Certificate in Education and B.Ed (1965-69)

On leaving Coventry, David taught at Banbury School until 1975 under the inspirational headship of Harry Judge. He was promoted to Head of Lower School at Buckler's Mead, Yeovil, obtained an MEd from Exeter University before moving to Whitgift, South Croydon in 1987 as Chief Master of the Junior School until 1992. His final years were spent at Reigate Grammar teaching history and politics, retiring as Head of Careers in 2006. He still visits schools to give careers and higher education guidance to years 11 and 12. David married Susan in 1972 and they have three married children and five grandchildren.

Gyll Brown (née Currie)
BEd 1966-70 and Dip Ed 1988-90

Gyll has had a career in teaching, the most recent post as Head of RE at Bluecoat School Coventry. She is now retired but still busy, being involved with the local Girl Guide campsite as well as having other interests. She and her husband have two sons and four grandchildren.

Did you graduate in 1970? If so, do you have a photo of Gyll, perhaps in a group with other people? She is the only member of her family without a photo from her graduation! She can be contacted at

Patrick Collins
Certificate in Education 1963-1966

Patrick is now retired after 43 years teaching, firstly in Wolverhampton and from 1973 as Head of Geography in an Oxfordshire 11-18 school. Latterly his teaching commitment was part time as he was Examinations Secretary and School Administrator with particular responsibility for making 'cover' arrangements for absent colleagues. He somehow found time to fit in an OU degree to add to his CV.

Chris Cooper
Certificate in Education 1962-65

Chris taught in Croydon. From 1965-70 he was a professional stage manager both on tour and with several West End musicals. In 1970 he qualified as an arts administrator and joined the Arts Council of Great Britain. In 1996 he became ‘Captain’ of HMS President (1918). In 2013 he moved to Newhaven Fort Rise to work on projects for 2014-18.

Ian Draper
Certificate in Education 1961-64

After qualifying, Ian moved to teach in the West Midlands before moving to Bedfordshire and then Northamptonshire. He spent most of his career working in Northamptonshire as long term permanently employed supply, covering heads of department. He became heavily involved with NASUWT as lay and latterly staff representative. Ian retired in 2000 and keeps busy running the Work-Stress Advisory Network.

Ray Fairweather
Certificate in Education 1964-67

Ray spent 33 years in the classroom, teaching physics and some biology. He worked through "the system" and ended up on old scale 4 as a Head of Year. He hated all the paperwork of latter years and had to retire for quad heart by-pass in 2000. He is now living in Norfolk and France.

John Colin Fisher
Certificate in Education 1962-65

John taught Mathematics after leaving College in 1965. He was appointed Head of Department in 1972 and remained in that position in various schools until he took early retirement in 1993. He was also appointed Chief Examiner in Mathematics for the Yorkshire Regional Examinations Board in 1973 and wrote many papers over the next eight years. He also served as a team leader completing 30 years' service in 2003. He has two daughters, Julie and Joanne, born in 1972 and 1974. Julie is a solicitor and Joanne is a primary school teacher. He has been happily married to Sheena since 1993.

Sheila Fitzgerald FRSA
Certificate of Education 1962-65

Sheila was responsible for the establishment and development of the Friends of the Mead Gallery Association, formed when the Gallery first opened in Warwick Arts Centre in 1987. Sheila was its first secretary and she went on to initiate exhibitions and sale of art work by the association’s members in the University’s management training centres. In the process more than £22,000 was raised for the University’s art acquisitions budget. Sheila was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in at the Degree Congregation in winter 2012.

Wendy Halliday (née Atkins)
Certificate in Education 1960-63

From 1963-75, Wendy changed from infant teaching in Leicestershire to Special-Ed in Devon and Cheshire. During that time, her husband's work took them to Singapore where she had two children. In 1976 they went to work in Canada, taught high school French and art. In 1986 they moved to China where she taught English language, some French and art at Shanghai American School for 18 years. Wendy has now retired to beautiful Vancouver Island, Canada. It's been quite a journey from Canley!

Jean Hughes (nee Ward)
Certificate in Education 1961-64

Jean studied PE/Geography at Coventry from 1961 to 1964. Then, as Jean Ward, her residence was in Arden Hall, overlooking the running track. Arden Hall students had the furthest to walk to the lecture block close to Canley. With her teaching certificate she taught in secondary and then in primary education, becoming a deputy head in 1973. She spent a wonderful year in Nebraska, USA on a teaching exchange and later gained an OU degree. She now lives with her husband (a retired HMI) in the Algarve, Portugal.

Ian Jameson and Janice Tate
Certificate in Education 1963-66

Ian and Janice met at the City of Coventry Training College in 1963 and were married in 1966. They both worked for 40 years in education, Janice as head teacher in a junior school and Ian as deputy head teacher in comprehensive schools. They live in Woking in Surrey and have two children and five grandchildren.

Roger Johnson and Babs Johnson (née Arrandale)
Roger - BEd 1965- 69, Babs - Certificate in Education 1965-68

Roger and Babs met at college at the freshers ball in 1965. At the end of their training they stayed in the Coventry area to take up junior teaching posts in Bedworth and Bulkington.

In 1977 Roger was appointed deputy head of a junior school in Wilmslow, Cheshire and the family moved to Macclesfield. In 1983 Roger took on the headship of a primary school in Macclesfield and Babs returned to full time primary teaching in 1986.

Roger suffered a stroke whist playing badminton in 1989 and there began a long journey to recovery, aided by an amazing physiotherapist, who happened to be young and good looking too. (It certainly helped!) He resumed his headship a year later, finally retiring in 2002. Babs retired in 2007.

Since then they have enjoyed travelling to New Zealand, Canada, South America and soon Australia. Roger also plays golf, crown green bowls and the cornet in a local brass band. Babs does latin dancing, community driving, walks, swims, goes to the gym and is researching family history.

Terence (Terry) Kenny and Anne Kenny (née Blurton)
Terry - Certificiate in Education 1960-63, Anne - Certificate in Education 1961-64

Terry taught in Coventry retiring in 2002, Anne taught in Derby and Coventry retiring in 2003. They married in 1968 and have two children and four grandchildren.

Terry studied at Bretton Hall (1980-81) and then Warwick for a Master’s (1982-84). Anne studied for a Diploma in Special Needs at Warwick (1987).

Both were active union members, Anne for the NASUWT serving as an officer in her local branch and Terry for ATL at both local and national level. Anne now plays Bridge, organising a club under the auspices of the U3A. Terry is a guide for the Blitz Museum in the Cathedral Ruins, a reader for the blind and a committee member for the Coventry (civic) Society.

Rosemary Latham (née Wiseman)
Certificate in Education 1967-70

Rosemary was at ‘Canley’ from 1967-1970. She became a class teacher in Derby which led to an interest in special needs, especially dyslexia. Moving to Dorset and then Somerset, she became a Special Needs Advisory Teacher, obtained a diploma in SpLD and subsequently wrote and ran a Diploma course in Complex Specific Learning Difficulties. Although retired she is still involved with marking assignments. She married in 1973 and has two sons both living in Surrey.

Vivienne Meeks
Certificate in Education 1960- 63

Vivienne particularly remembers the final school practice in the bitter winter of 1963! A highlight was singing in the college choir in the new Coventry Cathedral. She has lived in Canada for the last eight years. Vivienne loved the college reunion we had in 2010.

Joyce Miller
BEd 1965-69, MA 1989-92, EdD 1996-2010

As her various courses show, Joyce hasn't strayed very far away from Warwick and she is currently an Associate Fellow in the Warwick Religions and Education Research Unit in the Institute of Education. The most exciting recent project she has been involved in has been co-editing a book in honour of Professor Robert Jackson, written by 14 of his former doctoral students. It is published by Routledge and is entitled 'Religion in Education: Innovation in international research’.

Joyce has worked in religious education throughout her career, latterly in Bradford where she also had responsibility for community cohesion and race equality in schools. Her doctoral research was focused in that area and she has now moved on to researching religiously-inspired violent extremism and RE. All interesting stuff! Apart from that, children and step-grandchildren keep her happy, walking keeps her fit and music and friends keep her entertained.

Linda Murphy (née Ashworth)
Certificate in Education 1963-66

Having taught in Coventry for many years Linda is now living in Sidmouth where she is enjoying the folk scene. As part of a University of Warwick Open Studies women’s autobiographical writing course Linda contributed an article entitled ‘On Going to College 1963-66’.

Jagat Singh Nagra
Education for Overseas Graduates 1969-70

The course, lasting for 15 months, included English Studies, Education and the Practice of Teaching. Thirteen/fifteen were successful and all got teaching posts, some making rapid progress. Jagat obtained his MEd from the University of Birmingham in 1980 and a PhD from Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar in 1984. He worked as teacher, school counsellor and head of community languages in two secondary schools in Coventry until 1989. After this he became head of service community languages/mother tongue teaching in the London Borough Hounslow until 1994. He has also worked as an Ofsted School Inspector throughout the UK for about ten years., He has written several research papers and is author of 34 books which are used in many schools and colleges in Britain and other countries. He is now a director of Nagra Publications in Coventry.

Sandra Oxley (née Shrubsall)
Certificate in Education 1967-70

After College Sandra married Mick Oxley (Certificate in Education 1967-70) and lived and taught in and around Milton Keynes, mainly KS1. She still does some supply when available. They have two "children" and two grandchildren. Sandra gained an MA from de Montfort and was science coordinator KS1 and 2 and a student mentor. Mick was PE coordinator KS2 until he left teaching in 1988. They are enjoying retirement by travelling in a camper, gardening, art, photography, family history.

Michelle Pearson (née Phelps)
Certification in Education 1963-66

Michelle is married with a son and a daughter. She studied for an MA at Loughborough University, graduating in 1998. Michelle retired 2008 having enjoyed teaching for many years.

Patricia Pritchard
Certificate in Education 1969-72

Patricia moved to Norway and taught deaf children for over 20 years. She has taken a degree as Teacher of the Deaf, then a ’cand polit’ (a sort of Masters) in special education. Patricia is now an advisor in deaf education. She recently published a school text book in Norway for 1 - 4 graders learning English and is currently working on language environment assessment materials for deaf children and a new national curriculum. No retirement plans yet!!

Sue Sincock (née Pollard)
Certificate in Education 1960-63

Sue taught one year at Longford Park junior school with Di Preen in the infants. After getting married, Sue moved to Southend–on-Sea. After that she had various teaching jobs, became a head teacher at Glebe Infant School before retiring in 1996 and trained to be a City of London Guide.

Margaret Stevens (née Gort)
Certificate in Education 1961-64

After leaving Coventry, Margaret was a primary school teacher in Cheshire until 1990. After that she was a member of the Early Years Team at Manchester Metropolitan University and an OFSTED Nursery Inspector. She took early retirement and moved to Warwickshire. There she enjoyed a new experience of inspecting a variety of settings such as play groups in Cotswold villages to inner city nurseries. She even managed to inspect the nursery at the University of Warwick, which, needless to say, was very good indeed!

Jane Yerbury Sweeney
Certificate in Education 1963-66 and BEd 1975-77

After her Certificate in 1966; surprised that no time was given to showing prospective infant/junior teachers how reading could be taught, she devised a method that enabled all pupils to achieve success at, or well above, their “reading age”. In 1976 she took a year off to take her BEd from Warwick which enabled her to research methods of teaching reading. Since retirement she is happy to help anyone wanting help with reading or the teaching of reading.

Mary Thompson (née Savage)
Certificate in Education 1965-68

Mary married Keith in 1968 and had two children - Steve and Lucy. They have lived in Harbury in Warwickshire all their married life. Mary taught in Coventry and a number of Warwickshire schools. She was head at Southam St James Primary School from 1990 until she retired in December 2006. Since retiring Mary has become a magistrate, is vice-chair of governors at Harbury School and secretary of Harbury Tennis Club. Mary and Keith have enjoyed travelling to many parts of the world and enjoy their three grandchildren who all live locally.

Dianne Walsh (née Drake)
Certificate in Education 1960-63

Dianne left college to teach biology at Binley Park Comprehensive (Coventry) for two years. She married Mike Walsh (Loughborough engineer) in 1965, moved to Worcester, taught for one year, started a family and had three children. After this, she taught biology and general science at The Chase Comprehensive School, Malvern for 30 years working as head of years 10 and 11 in the latter years. Dianne retired in 2002 and is now thoroughly enjoying doing her own thing!

Gill Ward (née Naylor)
BEd French 1969 - 73

After a fabulous year in France Gill taught in Coventry for four years, married Bill and moved to Sheffield. Then life accelerated for the next 20 years as they moved to Blackpool, brought up three children (two of whom are teachers), she taught French in an independent junior school for 20 years and was Chair of Governors at her church school for much of that time. Now retired, she has a new lease of life with three lovely grandsons.

Carol Anne Williams (née Pearson)
Certificate in Education 1960-63

After many years as a primary head in East Sussex Carol moved out to Kuwait in 1996 to be Head of the primary department in a large international school and then later in UAE with her husband a former Secondary Ofsted Inspector. Now retired in Eastbourne they spend their time travelling back and forth to Abu Dhabi where both sons now work. They also have an apartment In Spain where they regularly visit and play bowls and golf.

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Chris Birch
BEd History and Education 1975-79

Chris is professor of enterprise and innovation at the University of Greenwich and London director of the Centre of Innovation, Imagination and Inspiration.

Alan Davis
Certificate in Education 1974-77

After ‘Canley’, Alan worked in the electronics industry eventually owning his own business. In 1995 he moved into residential property management in Hampshire where he is now the MD. Now living in Winchester, his hobbies are yoga, flying and boating, his only educational activity being a part-owner in a flight training organisation at Lee on Solent.

Heather Gotting (née Joy)
BA (Qualified Teacher Status) [Arts Education] 1976- 80

After graduating in 1980 Heather moved to North London where she taught in a variety of Primary schools in Enfield, Haringey and Barnet. She has been a SENCo for the last 13 years. She still works full time, though moved to an Essex school last year where teaching is slightly less stressful!

Heather married a fellow Coventry student Jeff Gotting in 1982 and had a son Callum. Unfortunately she was widowed in 2008 after Jeff was involved in a motorbike accident.
Highlights of the last few years; visiting Ghana with the British Council to look at Special Educational provision there; being interviewed by Al Jezeera on an NUT strike and meeting up with old Warwick students at a party and marvelling at the grey hair, hair loss and weight gain!

Hilary Matheson
BEd 1972-76

After teaching for a number of years Hilary returned to university in the States to complete her Masters and PhD in Sport Psychology. Following this training Hilary returned to the UK and taught at the University of Wolverhampton and then Newport University in Wales. After being Dean of School of Humanities & Social Sciences for a number of years and following restructure, she completed her academic career as Head of Health & Sport. A belated gap year with her partner saw her forget about work and they now enjoy the winter months in Florida and summer months in Wales! Great combination.

Maureen Prior (née Jones)
BEd 1971-75

Maureen taught full time at Manor Park School in Nuneaton until 1990. She took early retirement but did supply teaching in various schools in Nuneaton until she was 60. She has enjoyed her retirement since then with family, friends and hobbies.

Rob Rodgers
BEd 1974-78

Rob is now working as Director of Learning for SEN and Inclusion at a large Catholic Secondary academy a short journey from his home in Little Eaton. He often looks back on his ‘Canley’ days with warm affection. It really set him on the right track and he has covered advisory work, peripatetic work, class teaching and further and higher education teaching and support. Rob is happily married and has two great sons and counts himself as truly blessed and happy.

David (Ronnie) Roebuck
PGCE Chemistry 1973-74

On leaving College David was appointed as a chemistry teacher at Coundon Court School. In 1977 he moved to King Henry VIII School Coventry in the same role and then in 1982 he was appointed as Head of Chemistry at Barnard Castle School in County Durham. After nine years at Barney he was appointed Head of Science at Leicester Grammar School in 1991 where he remains. For those who remember him he was in Hampton and played first class rugby as well as for the College.

June Rowe (née Strong)
Certificate in Education 1972 – 75, BPhilEd 1987-90

Life has been hectic since retirement - supporting the Joe Homan Charity and working in their 10 children's homes in Tamil Nadu in South India - an enormously enriching experience. June is a trustee/director of Dudley Lodge Family Assessment Centres in Coventry and Birmingham; helps in the central Coventry Foodbank; is a member of the School Appeal Panel for Coventry City Council; the book club of the National Womens' Register; gardening, swimming and zumba groups. In addition she meets regularly with the retired Coventry Head Teachers at their lively monthly meetings groups. She also enjoys travelling the world.

John Shedden
BEd (Physical Education) 1970-73

John taught PE at his local secondary school before being tasked by the governing body of skiing with setting up a national coaching scheme for the UK with specific access for English skiers.

As Vice-Chairman of the British Association of National Coaches John proposed a core curriculum resource for coaching in all sports and so became founding Director of the National Coaching Foundation (now 'Sports Coach UK'). Since 2000 he has been a self-employed coaching consultant providing expert reports to the legal profession and designs for indoor snow slopes.

John is most proud of his contribution to coaching during the past three Olympiads (which grew out of his work at Warwick) and developing coaching tools with Olympic coaches from judo, sailing, gymnastics and track cycling.

Liz Springall (née Adams)
Certificate in Education 1970-73

Liz is currently living in tropical north Queensland, Australia. She is director of a community kindergarten (and wondering where she still gets the energy to run after four year olds!)

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We take great pride in the achievements and success of our alumni. We asked them to share in their successes, career changes and promotions and we were inundated. In fact we had so many that we could not fit them all into the magazine. If your name isn't here, email us to let us know what you've been up to since College.