Pauline Perry, Baroness Perry of Southwark

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Pauline Perry, Baroness Perry of Southwark (born Pauline Welch on 15 October 1931) is an educationalist, a Conservative politician and a member of the British House of Lords. She was Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England.

Early Life[edit]

Perry was educated at Wolverhampton Girls' High School and Girton College, Cambridge. In 1952 she married Oxford University lecturer George Perry, and had three sons and a daughter (Christopher, Timothy, Simon and Hilary). She became a teacher and philosophy lecturer, working in England, Canada and the United States.


In 1970, Perry joined HM Inspectorate at the Department of Education and Science, and was appointed Chief Inspector of Schools in 1981. In 1986 she became Vice-Chancellor of South Bank Polytechnic, and serving during its transition to a university became the first woman in history to run a British university. She subsequently held other roles in higher education, including pro-chancellor of the University of Surrey and President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

In 1986, she collaborated with John Cassels and James Prior to create the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) which would become National Centre for Universities and Business in 2013.

She has also been active in the Southwark Cathedral and Church of England community and the City of London. She was appointed chair of the review group examining the operation of the Crown Appointment Commission, the body which nominates Diocesan Bishops. The Perry Report "Working With The Spirit", was published in May 2001 and led to more transparent selection procedures for the appointment of Anglican Bishops.[1]

Perry was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1991.

She was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics 2003-2005 and chaired the Working Party on the Ethics of research involving animals[2] (2003-2005)

Chair, Commission on Secondary Reorganisation for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham,

Chair, Commission on Academies and Free Schools in the London Borough of Wandsworth.

She was the co-chair of The Conservatives Public Services Commission which reported in 2007.

In 2013 she was appointed Chair of the Governing Body of Kaplan College and Law School.[3]

UK Parliament[edit]

On 16 July 1991 she became a life peer as The Right Honourable Baroness Perry of Southwark, of Charlbury in the County of Oxfordshire .[4] She sits on the Conservative Party benches.

She was appointed a Conservative Party Whip in the Lords in January 2011.

Parliamentary Committees[edit]

Hybrid Instruments Committee (L) Lords 2014-

Sub-Committee I (Higher education in STEM subjects) Lords 2011-12

Sub-Committee I Lords 2010-11

Science and Technology Committee (L) Lords 2009-14

Liaison Committee (L) Lords 2007-12

EU Sub-Committee G - Social Policies and Consumer Protection Lords 2007-09

Sub-Committee I Lords 2005-07

Select Committee on Science and Technology Sub-Committee 2 Lords 2004-09

Science and Technology Committee (L) Lords 2003-07

Committee On Religious Offences Lords 2002-03

Ecclesiastical Committee (Joint Committee) Lords 2002-

Human Rights (Joint Committee) Lords 2001-03

Relations between Central and Local Government, Committee on Lords 1995-96

Sub-Committee I Lords 1993-95

Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (L) Lords 1993-98

Science and Technology Committee (L) Lords 1992-95[5]




Academic offices
Preceded by
Anne Warburton
President of Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Veronica Sutherland