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Speaker Biography

Jill Ward

Jill Ward is the Director of the Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent , Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin LLN. She is also the Chair of the National LLN Directors Forum. Jill has extensive experience in Further and Higher Education, as well as Adult and Community Learning. Prior to taking the post as Director of the Lifelong Learning Network, she was Principal of a residential college. During this time she changed the motivation of the college from a narrow focus, to one of widening participation for its local communities and engagement with other sectors of the wider learning community.

Before this, Jill was Assistant Dean in the School of Lifelong Learning at the University of Derby. Throughout her appointment, Jill steered many successful initiatives which resulted in the development of strong regional partnerships, and resulted in the provision of opportunities for people previously excluded from Higher Education.

Jill’s work has always been underpinned by a collaborative approach and as such has been a member of, and chaired, many regional and national groups. Some examples of these are Chair of the East Midlands Open College Network Committee, member of the National Open College Network Board, Chair of East Midlands Learning and Skills Network research forum, and member of QAA’s Access Recognition Advisory Committee. Jill has also carried out reviews for QAA and inspections for OFSTED, as well as leading European projects and publishing articles to disseminate this work.