Author Dame Jacqueline Wilson congratulates 98-year-old Ipswich graduate Freda Smith on honorary degree

Freda Smith with Jacqueline Wilson at the honorary graduation ceremony. Picture: CHRIS PERRY

Freda Smith with Jacqueline Wilson at the honorary graduation ceremony. Picture: CHRIS PERRY - Credit: Chris Perry

A 98-year-old former teacher from Ipswich donned a cap and gown to pick up an honorary degree for her achievements in education.

Freda throws her cap in the air during the event in London. Picture: CHRIS PERRY

Freda throws her cap in the air during the event in London. Picture: CHRIS PERRY - Credit: Chris Perry

Freda Smith was awarded the accolade from the University of Roehampton during a special ceremony at London Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall on Monday.

Speaking before the event, Freda, who is understood to be one of Britain’s oldest graduates, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful to celebrate a degree like this at my age.”

The ex-headteacher of Sprites Infant School in Ipswich was pictured alongside celebrated children’s author and chancellor of the University of Roehampton, Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

The university handed out honorary degrees to more than 2,000 alumni who achieved a Certificate in Education, a teaching qualification which was awarded until 1981.

Freda Smith taught for 44 years. Picture: CHRIS PERRY

Freda Smith taught for 44 years. Picture: CHRIS PERRY - Credit: Chris Perry

Freda, who taught for 44 years at schools across Ipswich, London and Sheffield, was unable to study for a traditional three-year degree because her parents could not afford to pay.


You may also want to watch:


Vice chancellor Professor Paul O’Prey CBE said: “This event is about recognising the hard work and dedication of the women and men who have made significant contributions to education and teaching across the world.”

Freda is thought to be one of Britain's oldest graduates. Picture: CHRIS PERRY

Freda is thought to be one of Britain's oldest graduates. Picture: CHRIS PERRY - Credit: Chris Perry

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus