John Pierre-Madigan

2015 - Runner-up

Outstanding Individual Learner Award

When John became a fork-lift truck driver, he thought that was all he would be. However he wanted to prove to himself that he could do more and when he saw an advert for the Open University (OU), he felt inspired. John is now a university lecturer with multiple degrees and continues to encourage others into learning.

John applied for a part-time Open University (OU) degree in Health and Social Care at the age of 31, and was the first in his family to get a university education. On graduating, he became a trainee probation officer where he achieved another degree in Community Justice. John then studied for two Masters Degrees in Education and in Social Policy and Criminology.

In 2007 John returned to the OU as an Associate Lecturer and now tutors the Foundation Degree in Youth Justice and Childhood Modules. He is currently coming to the end of a PGCE at Level 7 (Masters).

John reinvests his education back in to the community as much as he can. Not only has he helped youth offenders reengage with education through his work in probation, he has also encouraged his wife to study for a degree.

John said: “Adult learning completely changed my life. I now pass on my experience and knowledge to others, where they can make a difference to their lives and can inspire others to do the same. The sharing of knowledge is why education is powerful and I am so pleased to be a part of that.”

John’s nominator Paula Pierre-Madigan said: “John is very modest, but for someone to leave school with quite poor qualifications, his resilience, achievements and investment back in to the community within which he lives is outstanding.”