Martin Cross succeeded Dr Briggs as Master in June 2012 and served until early July 2013. A principal focus of attention during the year was to ensure that everything was in place to petition for Livery status. This was duly achieved when the Company’s petition and its supporting documents were submitted to the Court of Aldermen in June 2013. The petition was supported by some fifty other Companies, which was a most pleasing and encouraging demonstration of approval by the Livery world for what the Company had been doing.
During the year, Sir John Stuttard’s retirement as an Alderman took effect and the Company was pleased that the Court of Alderman appointed Freeman, Alderman Sir Paul Judge, to replace him as the sponsoring Alderman – albeit for what amounted to only a few weeks before Livery status was granted to the Company on 10 September 2013. The Company was able to congratulate Sir Paul on his nomination (and subsequent election) as Sheriff for 2013-14.
During the year there was a net increase in the number of Freemen of the Company bringing the total to 250. Attendance at dinners continued to increase and the Company continued to enjoy the use of the Hall of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers for its statutory events and the dinners that followed.. The guest speakers at these events were:
- Nick Tate, former Chief Executive of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (Installation Dinner);
- Professor Tony Hey, Vice-President, Microsoft Research Connections (Franklin Banquet);
- Dame Julia Cleverdon, Adviser to the Prince’s Charities and Chair of Teach First (Election Dinner).
- The Franklin Lecture in November was given by Sir Robert Burgess, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester, on the topic ‘Developing Higher Education in a new Era’.
- The Preacher at the Annual Service was Father Peter Newby of St Mary Moorfields. At the after-service supper, the speaker was the Rt Hon David Lammy, (MP for Tottenham, former Higher Education Minister).
The Master’s Seminars this year (kindly sponsored by Pearson plc), under the title “The Gentleman in Whitehall knows best?”, focused on the question as to who should be involved in deciding the curriculum – at whatever level of education – and how. The speakers were:
- Tim Oates, Chair of the DfE’s Expert Panel for the National Curriculum Review, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment
- Professor Chris Husbands, Director of the Institute of Education, University of London
- Stephen Crowne, Director of Business Development, Cisco
- Professor Dominic Wyse, Professor of Early Childhood and Primary Education, Institute of Education, University of London
- Professor Sir David Watson, Principal of Green Templeton College, Oxford, formerly Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton
- Sir Michael Barber, Chief Education Adviser, Pearson, formerly Chief Adviser on Delivery to the Prime Minister
In addition, the Education Committee arranged a number of discussion evenings. Topics included: Student Leadership in Secondary Education; Dispute Resolution in Higher Education; and Innovation in Work-based Learning. The Committee also again organised a discussion evening at which several of the Company’s Freemen spoke about particular initiatives in which they were engaged. Freeman Pam Taylor again arranged a Public Speaking Competition at Gresham College involving a number of schools.
The Social Committee held a number of most interesting and enjoyable visits during the year: to the Treasures of the Livery Companies exhibition and the Clockmakers’ Museum; Lord’s Cricket Ground and Museum; St Paul’s Cathedral; the Cutty Sark and National Maritime Museum; the Renaissance Galleries at the V&A; the British Library; Keats’ House and Hampstead; and the Carpenters’ College and the Olympic site.
Over forty Freemen attended the Master’s Weekend in May 2013, which was based in “Old London by the Sea” – Swanage in Dorset, to which many City artefacts were removed during the Nineteenth Century rebuilding. It included visits to Corfe Castle (by steam train), the Jurassic Coast and the deserted village of Tyneham. Dr Alan Chedzoy entertained us with a talk and readings from Dorset’s two literary giants, Thomas Hardy and William Barnes.