The head of a leading further education college group has been named as one of the UK’s most influential people.
Lynne Sedgmore, executive director of the 157 Group of colleges, is the first person working in the FE sector to be recognised in the prestigious 2015 Debrett’s 500 list.
The list recognises those who persuade and inspire others and have instigated change over and above expectation in 24 categories, and includes such diverse names as scientist Stephen Hawking, broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver.
Dr Sedgmore has worked in the FE sector for 35 years in a number of roles including principal of Guildford College. She was given the CBE for services to education in the New Year’s Honours list in 2004 and has been executive director of the 157 Group since 2008.
Under her stewardship the consortium of large and influential FE colleges has become established as a major player in the sector, raising the profile of FE, influencing policy and promoting evidence-based practice.
Dr Sedgmore said it was a “great honour” to be included in the prestigious list. “I am particularly delighted with the recognition for further education, which is all too often overlooked,” she said.
“Colleges and training providers have a vital role to play in helping young people develop the skills that will make them employable and successful citizens and in giving adults the chance to upskill or reskill for meaningful and sustained employment.”