Baroness Tessa Blackstone: Labour Peer & Educational Expert

Baroness Tessa Blackstone

Labour Peer & Former Vice Chancellor

Baroness Blackstone is a Labour peer whose academic career began at the London School of Economics where she taught for ten years, later becoming Professor of Educational Administration at the University of London Institute of Education. She became Master of Birkbeck College in 1987 and was awarded a life peerage that year. Baroness Blackstone has worked as a policy adviser in the Cabinet Office. She has served as chairman of the ballet board of the Royal Opera House, the General Advisory Council of the BBC, the Institute for Public Policy Research and the RIBA Trust.

Tessa Blackstone sits on the Labour benches in the Lords. She was Opposition spokeswoman for Education and Science (1988-92), for Treasury matters (1990-91), for Trade and Industry (1992-97) and principal Opposition spokeswoman for foreign affairs (1992-97). After Labour came into power in 1997, she was Minister of State for Education and Employment (1997-2001) and Arts Minister (2001-03) with responsibility for the arts, heritage, museums, galleries and libraries. In 2001 she was appointed to the Privy Council.

Baroness Blackstone was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Greenwich from 2004 to 2011. In 2009, she became the Chair at Great Ormond Street Hospital Trust, and in 2010, she became the Chair of the British Library Board. She is also a trustee of the Royal Opera House.

Her many publications on education and social policy issues include ‘Race Relations in Britain’ with Bhikhu Parekh and Peter Saunders (Routledge, 1997), and ‘Disadvantage and Education’ with Jo Mortimore (Heinemann, 1982). In the national media, she has broadcast and written extensively.