It is with great sadness that I announce the death of our dear friend and Founder Patron, Sir Brian Tovey who passed away on 23rd December. He had fought valiantly with ill health for the past few years and was so much helped and supported by his devoted wife, Mary.
Following an education in the course of which he gained an Open Exhibition in Modern History at St Edmund Hall, Oxford and a BA (Hons) in Modern Chinese at the University of London, Brian worked at GCHQ from 1950 to 1983 and, for his final five years (1978-83) was GCHQ's Director.
In the last twenty years of his life Brian had become an art historian. His interest was in Italian art of the 13th to 17th centuries. In 2005, he completed the editing of an Index of Filippo Baldinucci's Notizie which was originally compiled by Philip Pouncey, one-time Deputy Head of the British Museum's Prints and Drawings Department; this was published by the Florentine publisher, Centro Di. More recently Brian finished writing a biography on the life and times of Flippo Baldinucci an art historian living in Florence in the 17th Century who was also financial adviser to various well-heeled Florentine families.
In 2007, Brian, his wife Mary and Caroline Shott founded the Learning Skills Foundation and Learning Skills Research. Their idea was to create a bridge between academia and the teaching profession with the principal aim of bringing the latest academic discoveries about how the brain functions into the teaching community. By encouraging vital dialogue between these two communities the goal was and is to promote a greater understanding of the learning process.
Brian became the first Chairman of Learning Skills Foundation and Learning Skills Research and we owe him a debt of gratitude for the wisdom, vision and integrity in steering us as we made our early tentative steps and found our way. He believed passionately in the right of every individual to receive a good education which crucially should include being taught how to learn, a skill for life that would enable children to enjoy the ability to access and acquire knowledge for the rest of their lives.
Brian retired from his position as Chairman some three years ago and became Founder Patron. I was very honoured when he asked me to take over as Chairman and am so pleased that he lived to see both the LSF and LSR prosper and secure a strong reputation in the educational landscape. The work that we are doing at LSF and LSR meant a great deal to Brian and we continue this work in his name.
Learning Skills Foundation
Learning Skills Research Foundation