We have released new Centre Handbooks for our Speech, ESOL Skills for Life and centre assessed qualifications. They are available to download on our Policies and Procedures page.

ESB appoints its new Honorary Vice-President, Kate Forrester

Kate Forrester

We are delighted to announce the appointment of previous ESB Teacher, Assessor, Moderator and Trustee, Kate Forrester as our new Honorary Vice-President.

Kate has demonstrated her ongoing commitment to ESB over the years and will join ESB’s Honorary President, Merriel Halsall-Williams in ensuring that ESB founders, Christabel Burniston and Jocelyn Bell’s vision is kept alive.

Says Kate, “It’s an honour to be invited to be Honorary Vice- President of English Speaking Board following in the footsteps of three such influential women, Christabel Burniston, Jocelyn Bell and Merriel Halsall-Williams.”

Kate’s extensive ESB experience covers many different learners as she explains:

“On taking up a post at Plymouth College of Technology in 1969, I was responsible for preparing a range of students from Dockyard workers to Police and Merchant Navy Cadets, to Retail workers and student nurses for ESB assessments. Subsequently, in every school and college I taught, I entered learners ranging from very young children to adults.

“My first outing as a trainee assessor was with Christabel Burniston, daunting! In those days reports were handwritten and at the end of the day, before I had a chance to check what I’d written or the marks I’d awarded, Christabel gathered them and I next saw them with comments and corrections made by Jo Bell!

“Years later I became a Moderator, chaired the Moderating Panel, worked on syllabus development and was a Trustee. Fortunate to assess in this country and overseas, most notable in the Far East, it was always a privilege to be invited into schools and colleges to listen to, support and encourage learners to share their work.

“Through ESB I have learned a great deal and made wonderful friends; I hope I can be of help and support as ESB approaches its 70th anniversary and on into the future.”

ESB’s Chief Executive, Tina Renshaw, says:

I would like to congratulate Kate on her appointment as Honorary Vice-President. As Kate highlights, 2023 is our 70th anniversary year and we have a number of events planned where we will look back on – and forward to – the impact of the skills, outcomes and experiences of ESB qualifications.

As part of the celebrations, we launched our 70/70 campaign, which aims to find and financially support centres where their learners, children, young people or community members face disadvantage and would be supported in their aspirations if they could achieve an ESB qualification.


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