In Loving Memory of

Kathryn Rudd OBE

This book gives you the opportunity to celebrate the life and work of the wonderful Kathryn Rudd.

Kathryn has a special place in all our hearts. She has lived a very rich, if too short, life.

Kathryn will be remembered for her love, warmth, sense of fun and the most infectious bright smile. She had the most generous heart and always thought of others.

A beautiful, passionate, remarkable and amazing woman. An incredible wife to Mark (Finch), a loving daughter to Bob and Margaret Rudd, a fabulous bonus mum to Abbey, an adoring dog mum to Tilly and a loyal friend to many.  

Kathryn loved to travel and go on far flung adventures with Mark. 

Kathryn devoted her career to supporting young people with complex disabilities and/or learning difficulties; ensuring they received the opportunities and support needed to reach their potential. In 2014 Kathryn was awarded an OBE for her work with young people with disabilities. 

Kathryn will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Please help us to celebrate Kathryn’s life by sharing your memories of her in this book. 


Please read the information below about Kathryn’s Fund

The Kathryn Rudd Opportunity Fund.
Celebrating Kathryn’s passion for young people with disabilities to live their best lives.

All the time new resources, equipment and technologies are 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.

National Star has worked together with Kathryn to set up the Kathryn Rudd Opportunity Fund to realise this dream and Kathryn has this message for you:

“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”.

To help support the Kathryn Rudd Opportunity Fund at National Star, please donate at this link Donate Now | National Star or get in touch by, quoting ‘Kathryn’s Fund’.

Thank you.

Book Owner: Mark Finch
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Steven Tucker

Some memories of Kathryn…   The first team meeting Kathryn attended: I don’t remember my first encounter with everyone I have met. But Kathyrn is not everyone. She listened so carefully to the team’s discussion. When she made a comment she brought a new perspective. And I knew I was going to learn so much from, and love working with, this new colleague.   In a fish and chip restaurant in Plymouth: We shouldn’t have ordered more wine. We had to work the next day. But the conversation was flowing. I was asking her about teaching young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. I felt able to ask anything, no matter how naïve, because she treated every question seriously. I learned so much that evening. But I also relished her sharp wit and dark humour that ran through the conversation as it ebbed and flowed from work to anecdotes and inevitably into politics. The next day? She was as sharp and insightful as ever.   During a difficult conversation with someone at work: We both knew that we had heard an inappropriate comment. I prevaricated and mumbled. Kathryn immediately called it out. She didn’t need to think, she knew …

Peter Cox

I had the privilege of working with Kathryn on a number of inspections early in my career at Ofsted. She was always exceptionally kind, generous with her time and energies and brought a warmth and humour to all she did. When times were tough on inspection, she was always ready with a joke or an encouraging word. I am very grateful for all of her support and time. …

Andrea Dill-Russell

Well Kathryn, it only seems like five minutes since we first met on inspection in 2018. I will always remember your enthusiam and energy. You made me laugh a lot, occasionally at times when we shouldn’t have been laughing – you could always see the funny side of life. You will be missed by everyone that knew you xxx …

Jonny Wright

Thank you for being the wonderful, caring and funny person I met in 2019. So much love to your family Kathryn and The Brill Team will always remember you and miss you.  Jonny xxx …

Cliff Shaw

Kathryn was so kind and supportive when I started leading inspections. She was the best fun as well. Always made me giggle … lots! As a fellow Coventrian we often reflected on the old place which was great fun. Kathryn was the best as an educator,as an inspector but most of all as a person and I will never forget her. XX …

Joyce Deere

Too soon, too soon you’ve left us Kathryn: you were an exceptional person whose humanity, humour and compassion touched the lives of many young people and their families. As an Ofsted HMI, I met you in 2000, and found inspirational your understanding of the enormity of the task to provide a meaningful curriculum for young people who had previously had little or no voice. You were a trailblazer in developing your provision and you shared your understanding generously with colleagues across the country.  You will be much missed, but your legacy continues. …

Denise Olander

Kathryn was my ray of sunshine. From the moment I met Kathryn (as her trainer) I adored her. I admired how quickly she made friends with her group of fellow new HMI. Her sense of humour, her warmth, and her ability to always see the funny side of life were intoxicating. These are only a few of the reasons why people loved Kathryn. Kathryn always thought about the feelings of others. I remember when she called to tell me the results of the first scan. She began with ‘I’m so sorry to be the bearer of bad news’, but…….. She continued like this every time we talked or texted about her test and scan results, even though I would say that she had absolutely nothing to apologise about.  Kathryn was a truly wonderful role model. Throughout her illness, she was positive, resourceful, and resilient. She never once showed the anger and resentment that she deserved to feel. Kathryn continued to be funny, strong, and giving.  Kathryn described to me the idyllic family life that she had as a child and an adult. She knew how much she was loved and she too loved her parents, Mark (who she described as the …

Alison Boulton

Kathryn, it was such a pleasure to work with you and I will always be grateful for your unfailing support during my years at Natspec. Along the way we laughed a lot, often on crowded trains from London after challenging meetings! So many young people and their families are living better lives because you never gave up on your principles and values. You were kind and generous, always looking out for and looking after people when they needed it. There have been some amazing tributes from your colleagues, but of course this is a deeply personal loss for your family and friends – my heartfelt condolences to them. We have all lost a wonderful woman. With much love, Alison. …

Lynne Bennett

I first met Kathryn when I inspected National Star College as part of the Care Quality Commission’s inspection team. She was always the utmost professional, quick to respond to us and to embrace the new world of social care inspections. She was passionate about the college, the students and staff. Over the years I became the lead inspector for the college and was delighted to rate the college as outstanding under Kathryn’s watch. She was a bright star, sadly taken from us far too soon. My condolences to her family and friends at this sad time. …

Pat Dyson

I first met Kathryn in 2003 when I was a Member of Skill Council (National Body for Students with Disabilities) and later worked with her directly on Natspec Board for 4 years. Our paths continued to cross over the years and her warmth and enthusiasm was ever-present in every encounter. From the very outset of our first meeting I have never forgotten Kathryn`s immense passion for supporting young people with complex needs and disabilities. This never waned in her short life and will continue with The Kathryn Rudd Opportunity Fund. Kathryn`s positive and engaging influence on every part of the specialist education sector has touched the hearts of so many and through her fund will continue to do so. Kathryn was a true leader in every sense of the word. Her passing is an immeasurable loss. Pat xx …