Ann-Marie Bathmaker has a distinguished record of research into education including work on UTCs, FE College governance and the economic and cultural issues which affect students’ experience of HE. As Ann-Marie joins Edge’s Board of Trustees, we found out a little more about her.
The moniker Bathmaker may sound like a 15th century occupational surname, but Ann-Marie Bathmaker’s heritage is in ‘the print’. Her father worked for the Evening Standard newspaper, in the glory days of Fleet Street and hot metal printing; he was a compositor essentially responsible for laying out the pages. It’s a profession that was lost with the advent of digitised print and the move of operations to Wapping after the industrial dispute of 1986, when 6,000 print workers – including Ann-Marie’s father – lost their jobs.
Born in Elstree, Ann-Marie attended the local comprehensive in Borehamwood where she grew up in the 1970s. Inspired by her teachers at school, she went on to study modern languages at the University of Birmingham, stayed in the city and is now Professor of Vocational and Higher Education. Ann-Marie is also Visiting Professor at the Centre for Development Studies, the University of the Free State, in South Africa where she is researching how young South Africans from rural areas and black townships participate in higher education. Ann-Marie also inherited her parents’ love of cycling. They met on a cycling holiday and Ann-Marie vividly recalls waving from the side-car of her father’s bike as a small child. It’s a passion that’s lasted a life-time from an early ambition to be a professional cyclist, ‘a coach told me there was no money in it’, and she has been a member of Solihull Cycling Club for the last 30 years.
This year she joined the distinguished ranks of Cycling UK’s 100 Women in Cycling in recognition of her volunteering work to encourage and support women to take up cycling. She’s been working particularly closely with ACP Community Cycling Club from the mainly Muslim community in Sparkbrook.
‘I wanted to share my love of the bike particularly with women who would not have ready access to other women with cycling experience.
‘Watching women develop their cycling skill, enjoy riding, and increasing their confidence on and off the bike makes my day.’
Three Policy Wishes
Funding: Invest in provision in further education colleges in a way that is commensurate with providing high quality education and training, and with a commitment that does not leave colleges struggling to balance the books on a year by year basis.
Partnership: Promote partnerships between education, employers and other social partners, that do not privilege one player above all others; and legislate for commitment in education and training from employers rather than voluntary contributions
Policy learning instead of policy borrowing: establish robust mechanisms for policy learning from past experience as well as from the experience in other countries, rather than borrowing selected bits of policy from elsewhere that do not account for the wider context in which they operate.