Naomi Sargant

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Naomi Ellen Sargant, Lady McIntosh (10 December 1933 – 23 July 2006) was a British academic specialising in adult education and a television executive.

Early life[edit]

The daughter of Thomas Sargant, first secretary of JUSTICE, and Czech-born philologist Marie Hlouskova, Sargant was educated at Friends School Saffron Walden, later graduating from Bedford College, University of London with a degree in sociology.[1]

After an early career in market research and consumer interests (she was an associate of Michael Young on the National Consumer Council[2]) Sargant became a college lecturer in 1967 and joined the new Open University in 1970, for whom (as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs) from 1974-78[3]) she presented the Open Forum programme on radio and television.[1]

Later life and career[edit]

Sargant became professor of applied social research in 1978, remaining in the post until leaving the OU in 1981 to join Channel 4 as a senior commissioning editor for educational programming[4] on a channel mandated to dedicate 15% of its output to education.[5]

She left Channel 4 in 1989 and became an executive member of the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education. NIACE published Lifelong Learning: A Brave and Proper Vision Selected writings of Naomi Sargant in 2009[6] and organises an annual memorial lecture in her honour. NIACE director Alan Tuckett described Sargant at the time of her death as "among the most distinguished adult educators of the post-war era".[2]

Sargant died from cancer, aged 72. She had been married twice, first to Peter Kelly (in 1954), and secondly to Andrew McIntosh (1962-2006; her death).[4] She had three sons: David Andrew Kelly (from her first marriage) and Francis Robert Mcintosh and Philip Henry Sargant McIntosh (from her second marriage).


  1. ^ a b Obituary: Naomi Sargant, The Times, 11 August 2006
  2. ^ a b Alan Tuckett "Brilliant advocate for cause of adults", Times Education Supplement, 28 July 2006
  3. ^ "Lady McIntosh, Former OU Pro-Vice-Chancellor, dies", OU tribute page, 25 July 2006
  4. ^ a b Jeremy Isaacs Obituary: Naomi Sargant, The Guardian, 28 July 2006
  5. ^ Peter Catterall The Making of Channel 4, London: Routledge, 1999, pg. 135
  6. ^ "Naomi and her vision for lifelong learning", Tribune (website), 13 July 2009