Joan Lorna Jeannette Kohler

Attended Ware Grammar School, then University of Birmingham where she read Ancient History and Archaeology. Graduated in 1963 with a 2i degree. Worked as a teacher of English for the British Council in Norway and Finland. In between contracts, met John Cocking and they married in New York in 1967. Taught English at secondary level in Montreal, Manchester and London. Gave birth to Ben in 1972. Moved from teaching to publishing and became Publishing Director for Longman UK. On retirement, took on a range of non-executive roles: Chair of the board of Middlesex University, Chair of the Council of the Girls’ Day School Trust (the largest UK educational charity), Chair of Governors at Kent College and Chair of the board of the National Foundation for Educational Research. Received an honorary doctorate from Middlesex University in 2008.

Here she is with her sister Yvonne when they were little girls.