As outlined in the University’s response to the Prevention of Future Deaths report, published on 10 January 2022, the General Board and University Council have decided that the Learning Together Programme in Cambridge should come to an end.

The events at Fishmongers’ Hall in November 2019 were a tragedy for the families who lost loved ones and a traumatic experience for the many others affected by the terrible events of that day. In the intervening months, the University of Cambridge has undertaken a detailed analysis and thorough review of the many issues raised by the tragedy and the findings from the Coroner.

A number of working groups drawing on internal and external expertise, and including individuals with long experience in criminal justice, were set up to examine the safeguarding and risk assessment processes for work with prisoners and ex-offenders across the whole University, and to consider the future of the Learning Together Programme at Cambridge.

Building on the findings of the working groups, a Transition Board chaired by Baroness Morgan of Huyton, Master of Fitzwilliam College, was convened in the summer of 2021 to make recommendations regarding the transition of Learning Together into its next phase. It recommended that the Learning Together Programme in Cambridge should end. This recommendation was approved in December 2021 by the University’s General Board and by its Council.

Alongside the decision to end the Learning Together Programme at Cambridge, the University has strengthened its policies and process around risk assessment and working with people who have offended. Research in prisons continues.

Professor Stephen J Toope, Vice-Chancellor, said:

“The Learning Together Programme helped change many lives for the better. But the London Bridge tragedy caused unimaginable grief. As a result, an independent review recommended that the programme be halted. The University Council and General Board took the decision to follow that recommendation. The consequences of violence continue to ripple outwards and create further harm. Today I am thinking again of the families and friends of Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones, and the Learning Together community, who continue to suffer from the events of that dreadful day.”