Robert Adams obituary


My pal Robert Adams, who has died aged 76, spent most of his working life as a researcher and statistician for examination boards. Nevertheless, his colleagues will bear in mind him as a lot for his wit, sociability, vast studying and mental curiosity as for his undoubted experience in statistical evaluation.

Born in Nuneaton in Warwickshire, Bob was the center of the three sons of Geoffrey Adams, a amount surveyor, and Winifred (nee Eling), a housewife. He attended King Edward VI grammar faculty within the city, then took a arithmetic diploma at Woolwich Polytechnic (later Thames Polytechnic and now College of Greenwich) in south-east London, adopted by a postgraduate diploma in statistics in 1968 on the College of Kent. There he met Pat Birks, they usually married in 1970.

Bob returned to Woolwich Polytechnic to lecture in what he known as “exhausting sums”, earlier than shifting to the analysis division on the Related Inspecting Board in Aldershot, Hampshire, in 1977.

Formative work with John Wilmut and others on approaches to grade awarding and the rank ordering of candidates led, in 1981, to a three-year posting together with his younger household to Mauritius, the place he was a visiting fellow on the Mauritius Institute of Schooling, evaluating the nation’s secondary faculty entrance examination system.

Quickly after returning to the UK he took up the publish of analysis officer at WJEC, the examination board for Wales, in Cardiff in 1986. Throughout the next decade sweeping adjustments to examinations – together with the introduction of GCSEs, modular A-levels and the brand new AS-level – meant his experience was in nice demand.

Bob’s empathic method to the various calls for of various topics endeared him to colleagues, and certainly derived from his wide-ranging pursuits – notably music and literature.

He was a chorister from the age of seven, and from 1968 onwards his wealthy baritone was a lot in demand in beginner choirs. 13 years as a lay clerk in Llandaff Cathedral choir introduced him again to the Anglican choral repertoire he beloved, whereas founding the Kenneth Stoat Singers offered secular retailers for extra singing and likewise cricket, usually enlivened by tough Somerset cider.

However his love of phrases manifested itself in a fund of usually self-deprecating tales and the manufacturing of clerihews, limericks and parodies, which he shared often beneath the nom de plume of Hieronymus Stoat. A eager crossword solver, he would shock you in formal conferences by producing a collection of anagrams of audio system’ names.

In 2006 Bob moved to London to the tutorial writer NFER Nelson, earlier than returning to examination board work at Guildford in Surrey, the AEB by this time having develop into a part of the Assessments and {Qualifications} Alliance, now AQA. In retirement he took up the saxophone and sang with the Welsh Camerata.

He’s survived by Pat, their daughters, Jenny, Judy and Alison, six grandchildren and his youthful brother, David.


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