He was educated at Loughborough Grammar School and at Lowestoft County Grammar School and St Catherine's College, Oxford. He began his career as a schoolteacher, becoming a deputy head at twenty six. Later he was Professor of Education at Keele University (1989–1993), and Chief Education Officer in both Oxfordshire (1978–1989) and Birmingham Local Authorities.
Whilst he was at Birmingham, he was described by Conservative Education Secretary John Patten as a "madman....wandering the streets, frightening the children". Brighouse sued and won substantial damages, which he donated to charity. He used some of it to set up the University of the First Age, to encourage out of hours activities to enrich school children's learning.
- Wilby, Peter (2007-04-24). "London schools tsar Tim Brighouse retires". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
- ‘BRIGHOUSE, Sir Timothy Robert Peter’, Who's Who 2013, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2013; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2012 ; online edn, Nov 2012 accessed 19 May 2013
- Morrison, James (2006-08-03). "The University of the First Age: summer schools with a difference". The Independent (London: Independent News and Media). Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- Berliner, Wendy (2002-04-09). "A great crusade". The Guardian (London: Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 2009-03-22.
- RM Directors' biographies
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2008.
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