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NFER Vice President David Whitbread dies after long and distinguished career in education

29 January 2018

We were very sad to hear the news last week of the sudden passing of NFER Vice President David Whitbread.

A well-known and highly respected figure in education, David maintained his interest and enthusiasm for the sector following his retirement in 1998. David was a strong supporter of NFER for many years whilst working for the Local Government Associations, and served as Treasurer and Vice Chair on our Board. He was appointed Vice President of NFER in 2012. He always gave his time generously, and we are extremely grateful for his sage advice and tireless support.

NFER has received a number of tributes to David, who had a long and distinguished career in the education sector. Former Chair of Trustees at NFER, Richard Bunker, said: “David was a person of huge integrity who made an enormous contribution to NFER and to the whole education service. At the Association of County Councils and then, as Head of Education at the Local Government Association, he was always enormously helpful to Chief Education Officers in Local Education Authorities. Nothing was too much trouble and he always gave calm, well considered and invariably helpful advice. He was a delight to work with.”

Commenting on the news, NFER Chief Executive Carole Willis said: “David played a central role on the NFER Board for a number of years. He was an insightful and modest man, with a great deal of very valuable experience from which we all benefited. I know he will be greatly missed by his family and friends.”

Lorna Cocking, current Chair of Trustees at NFER, added: “We will remember David with immense gratitude and fondness. A sad loss.”

We are extremely grateful for all that he did for the organisation and send our deepest sympathies to his family and, in particular, his wife Margaret.

If you would like to share your memories of David with us, you can post them here.