We are very sad to share the news that our friend and colleague Bob Fryer has passed away. 

We are incredibly fortunate to have benefited from Bob’s huge expertise, wisdom and support over the years.  Bob was one of the Campaign for Learning’s founding trustees. He rejoined the board in 2008 later becoming its chair until April 2020. 

Bob was a national figure, influential leader and passionate advocate for adult education and lifelong learning.  He joined the board of the fledgling Campaign for Learning in 1996 whilst Principal of Northern College, a post he held for 15 years. He later became Assistant Vice Chancellor of the University of Southampton and Director of New College.  

Under the New Labour government, Bob was active in shaping learning policy and was appointed to many of the new institutions and boards that were created to build a learning societyBetween 1999 and 2001 he was an Executive Director and Board member of Ufi. He chaired the National Advisory Group for Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning; and was a member of the ‘Moser’ Committee on Adult Basic Skills and the Policy Action Team on Skills for Neighbourhood Renewal. He was a founder member of the national Learning & Skills Council.  Bob was the Chief Learning Advisor to the Department of Health and the National Director for Widening Participation in Learning, where he worked to open access to learning and employment for staff in the NHS. 

In 1999, his services to Community Education were recognised with a CBE in the New Years Honours. 

Bob was a much-loved trustee and friend to the Campaign for Learning. We were delighted when he agreed to rejoin the board in 2008. He guided us through the significant political and funding changes over the last decade; andin his final months as chair, crucially helped to secure the Campaign’s future and legacy as part of the NCFE group. 

It was a privilege to know and work with him. 

We will miss Bob very much.