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Trust saddened by passing of Prof. Ros Sutherland

Photo courtesy of Bristol University

The SS Great Britain Trust is deeply saddened to learn that our much-respected and loved Trustee, Professor Rosamund Sutherland, has passed away.

CEO of the SS Great Britain Trust, Matthew Tanner, said: “The flags of the SS Great Britain are flying at half-mast to mark this profoundly sad occurrence.

Ros became involved with the Trust through giving her great professional expertise and experience to the development of the Trust’s innovative education programmes and played a vital part in the formation and success of ‘Future Brunels’, which inspires young people into careers in science and engineering. Subsequently Ros joined the Board of Trustees from 2015, and contributed enthusiastically, and with profound knowledge, to the educational strategies of the Trust, as well as often showing her enthusiasm for sailing and the sea. Ros was deeply valued and respected by her fellow board members, and loved by all the staff she worked with here. She will be much missed, and our thoughts and condolences go out to Ian and the family.’

Ros Sutherland studied mathematics at the University of Bristol and returned to the city twenty years ago to become Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education, and subsequently Head of Department.

She loved living in the City of Bristol and crossing Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. The first owner of her house was Samuel Jackson, the artist who was commissioned by Brunel to illustrate his plans for the bridge in the 1830s. With her grandchildren she rediscovered the joy of visiting museums with young people.

Ros had a keen focus and drive towards improving educational opportunities for young people; she was Deputy Chair of Governors of Merchants’ Academy in South Bristol and was the University of Bristol’s representative on the Board that set-up the school. This work drew her attention to the divide in terms of educational opportunities for young people who live in areas of social disadvantage compared to those from more middle-class backgrounds. This influenced her research, which focused on widening participation in Higher Education. 

Ros was also an important author, having published several books including Teaching for Learning Mathematics (Open University Press), Improving Learning with ICT (Routledge) and Social Justice and Education in a Digital Age (Policy Press).