Ronald Dearing, Baron Dearing
He was born in Kingston upon Hull. He was the eldest son of a docks clerk. His father was killed whilst fire watching during an air raid. He attended Malet Lambert Grammar School. At the University of Hull, he gained a BSc in Economics in 1954 during a two-year break from the Ministry of Power.
Dearing joined the civil service as a 16-year-old clerical officer in 1946. By 1967, aged 37, he was one of the two deputy heads of the coal division of the Ministry of Power, with the rank of assistant secretary. In 1967 Dearing had responsibility for two major issues arising from the 1966 Aberfan Disaster, in which a huge coal waste tip collapsed onto the town of Aberfan in Wales, killing 144 people including 116 school children. Dearing briefed the then Minister, Richard Marsh on the question of the possible removal of Lord Robens as chair of the National Coal Board in the wake of the damning Davies Report, which found the Coal Board wholly responsible for the disaster, and on the issue of the removal of the remaining tips above the town.
University of Nottingham
He was later the 5th Chancellor of the University of Nottingham 1993-2000 and the author of the Dearing Report into Higher Education. The annual teaching awards at Nottingham (initiated in 1999) are named after Lord Dearing as is a more recent series of teaching fellowships. The main education building on the Jubilee Campus is also named after him. The name Dearing Report is also applied to the 2001 report which he chaired "The Way Ahead: Church of England schools in the new millennium".
In 2000, Lord Dearing visited Malet Lambert School Language College, Kingston upon Hull, to open a new building constructed for the use of science and geography, it being named the Dearing Centre. Similarly, in 2004, he visited Hymers College, Kingston upon Hull, whereupon he opened the new science block with the purpose of educating the children in the areas of physics and chemistry. The Dearing Building on the University of Nottingham's Jubilee Campus is named after this former chancellor of the University.
- Obituary, Times Higher Education, 20 February 2009
- Iain McLean, "It's not too late to say sorry", Times Higher Education Supplement, 17 January 1997
- Ronald Dearing, "Aberfan aftermath, Sir Ron replies: 'I believe advice was disinterested and just' ", Times Higher Education Supplement, 7 February 1997
Sir Gordon Hobday
|Chancellor of the University of Nottingham