Issue date: 20 July 2011
The University of the West of England will award the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Education to Roger White OBE in recognition of his outstanding work with ASDAN in the field of curriculum innovation.
The Honorary Degree will be conferred at the Awards Ceremony of the Faculty of Creative Arts, Humanities and Education on Wednesday 20 July at Bristol Cathedral.
Born in Lincolnshire, Roger attended Peter Symonds School in Winchester, a state boarding school used by Forces' families. He went on to study Chemistry at the University of York, graduating in 1970.
Roger began his career teaching science in a secondary-modern school in north Hampshire. During the mid 1970s Roger joined a team of staff from the Bristol Association of Youth Clubs, working with disengaged young people from Bristol's secondary schools. From this Youth Education Service emerged a school known as the Bayswater Centre, which gained a national and international reputation for its pioneering work with 14-16 year olds.
In 1985, Roger was appointed to the Faculty of Education at Bristol Polytechnic. He worked with colleagues to develop innovative approaches to the training of student teachers, broaden the international profile of the Faculty, and co-ordinate curriculum work with Faculty staff and local teachers to develop what became known as ASDAN. ASDAN is an organisation that pioneers curriculum development and offers programmes and qualifications that explicitly grow skills for learning, skills for employment and skills for life. In 2002, Roger left UWE to work full time for ASDAN.
By the end of the decade 6,000 schools and colleges throughout the UK were using ASDAN materials to recognise and reward young people's achievement in a wide range of creative, sporting, artistic, physical, and academic activities.
ASDAN is being recognised internationally and is used in schools in New Zealand, Australia, China and Kuwait. In 2010, 200,000 young people received ASDAN awards, and ASDAN received the Evening Post Business of the Year trophy, as well as being listed in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to work for.
Roger has published numerous books and articles, including In and Out of School (with Dave Brockington), which describes the work of the Youth Education Service, Absent with Cause, which celebrates the work of the Bayswater Centre, and Curriculum Innovation, which tells the ASDAN story.
Roger completed a distance-learning MA in Creative Writing at Lancaster University in 2009 and has now retired as CEO of ASDAN. In 2011, he was awarded the OBE in the 2011 New Years Honours list for services to young people.
He is currently Chair of Governors at Ashton Park School and Trustee of the Youth Education Service.