Retired teacher collects degree...60 years after she qualified!

PUBLISHED: 12:45 01 June 2017

Pam Palmer receiving her degree.

Pam Palmer receiving her degree.


It was a case of better late than never for retired teacher Pam Palmer as she was awarded an honorary degree, some 62 years after completing her qualification.

Mrs Palmer, 82, graduated from Southlands teaching college, near Wimbledon, in 1955 but received little more than a letter from the government of the day, confirming she had completed her studies.

After leaving college, Mrs Palmer went on to teach at schools across Cambridgeshire, working in Buckden, and Chatteris, before finishing her career as head teacher at Ramsey Spinning Infants in the 1990s.

Mrs Palmer, who lives in Kings Ripton, spent more than 25 years in education, before going on to teach lace craft to mature students in America, Singapore, and Japan in her retirement.

However, late last year, and quite unexpectedly, Mrs Palmer was contacted by the University of Roehampton, in London, informing her that all former students of Southlands college, would be awarded honorary degrees to formally recognise their qualifications.

The university was formed after a merger of several former teaching colleges, including Southlands, and therefore officials had Mrs Palmer’s contact details on record and were able to send her a letter.

On May 15, Mrs Palmer, a grandmother to three, attended a ceremony in London and received her bachelor of education degree, more than 60 years after completing her qualification.

She said: “When I heard from the university that all former teaching college students would be awarded a degree, I thought it was quite extraordinary.

“It must have taken a lot of work for them to try and get in contact and it was really rather a nice thing for them to have done.”

Mrs Palmer, who was educated at Slepe Hall girls school, in St Ives, said that more than 2,000 people attended the graduation ceremony, although she was unable to meet up with any of her fellow students from her time at Southlands.

She added: “It was like a scene from Harry Potter at Hogwarts when we were all changing into our robes, it was good fun.”

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