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Gloucestershire Business News

College mourns former principal

Staff, students and friends of National Star in Gloucestershire are mourning its former principal, who has sadly passed away.

A statement on the college's website reads: "The National Star community is deeply saddened by the death of former principal Kathryn Rudd. Our thoughts are with her family, and we send our condolences.

"Kathryn worked at National Star for 16 years and, although she left in 2016, she remained a great champion and supporter of the charity. Kathryn received an OBE in 2014 for services in further education for young people with disabilities."

Lynette Barrett, chief executive, said: "Kathryn devoted her career to supporting young people with complex disabilities and learning difficulties and ensuring they received the educational opportunities and the support they needed to reach their potential. She played a leading role in lobbying the Government over the Children and Families Act 2014 and the introduction of Education Health Care Plans. Kathryn was a director and latterly chair of Natspec through to 2017. She brought huge value in this role to the wider SEN sector.

"We were fortunate that Kathryn spent much of her career at National Star, where she touched the lives of so many. There will be many former students, staff and families who will be saddened by this news.

"Kathryn's enthusiasm was infectious and there was nothing she enjoyed more than seeing young people succeed. In her roles here at National Star, and then with Ofsted as senior HMI SEND inspector, Kathryn leaves an incredible legacy.

"She will be greatly missed, and our thoughts are with her family and their loss."

Before she died, Kathryn created a fund in her memory. The Kathryn Rudd Opportunity Fund will celebrate Kathryn's passion for young people with disabilities to live their best lives.

New resources, equipment and technologies are continually being developed that provide life-enhancing opportunities for young people with disabilities. But they are often expensive and not available to everyone.

Kathryn wanted to level the playing field. She wanted those young people who would benefit from these new opportunities to be able to access them.

Star College worked together with Kathryn to set up the Kathryn Rudd Opportunity Fund to realise this dream.

Kathryn had this message for supporters: "I have had the great honour of working alongside amazing young people as principal at the National Star College. I've seen directly the power of newly developed innovation and technology on the lives of young people and their families. National Star have a team of highly skilled specialists who work together with the young person and the technology to provide tailor made solutions. They make the impossible possible.

"This legacy for new generations is hugely important to me. Please can you help by growing the Kathryn Rudd Opportunity Fund, to allow even more young people to gain from this specialist technology and support.

"Together, we have the power to change lives - and on behalf of young people with disabilities, thank you for all your support."

Support the Kathryn Rudd Opportunity Fund at National Star or get in touch by emailing, quoting Kathryn's Fund.

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