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Tim Brighouse

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Tim Brighouse
Brighouse in 2012
Born(1940-01-15)15 January 1940
Died15 December 2023(2023-12-15) (aged 83)
Alma materUniversity of Oxford (PGCE)

Sir Timothy Robert Peter Brighouse (15 January 1940 – 15 December 2023) was a British educator. He was the Schools Commissioner for London between 2002 and 2007, where he led the London Challenge.[1][2][3]

Early life and career[edit]

Brighouse was born in Leicestershire on 15 January 1940. He was brought up there and in East Anglia, and was educated at Loughborough Grammar School, Lowestoft County Grammar School and St Catherine's College, Oxford. Brighouse took his PGCE at the Oxford University Department of Education in 1961.[4] He began his career as a schoolteacher, becoming a deputy head in a South Wales secondary modern school in 1966.[5]

In the early 1970s he worked for Buckinghamshire County Council's education department, and worked with Geoff Cooksey on plans for Stantonbury Campus, the first secondary school of Milton Keynes.[6]

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.[7][8]

In May 1997 Brighouse was awarded an honorary degree from the Open University as Doctor of the University.[9]

Brighouse was the Schools Commissioner for London between 2002 and 2007, where he led the London Challenge.

Brighouse was a Non-Executive Director of RM plc the UK educational IT company.[10]

Brighouse was knighted in the 2009 New Year Honours.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Tim Brighouse was married to Elizabeth, who is leader of the Labour group on Oxfordshire County Council. They had four children and eight grandchildren.[12] Brighouse died on 15 December 2023, at the age of 83.[13]

Books and Articles[edit]

  • The A-Z of School Improvement: Principles and Practice (28 March 2013)
  • Inspirations: A Collection of Commentaries and Quotations to Promote School Improvement (1 October 2006)
  • What Makes a Good School Now? (6 May 2008)
  • How to Improve Your School (21 January 1999)
  • The Joy of Teaching (15 April 2008)
  • ’’A ‘national education service’: what can we learn from the past?’’ Chapter 4 In Education System Design: foundations, policy options and consequences (2020). Hudson, B., Leask, M and Younie, S. RoutledgeTaylorFrancis.
  • About Our Schools with Mick Waters (2022)[14]


  1. ^ Wilby, Peter (24 April 2007). "London schools tsar Tim Brighouse retires". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  2. ^ ‘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
  3. ^ "Professor Sir Tim Brighouse". Oxford University Department for Education. Oxford University. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Tim Brighouse – Oxford Education Society". www.oxes.org.uk.
  5. ^ "Sir Tim Brighouse - Education Fast Forward".
  6. ^ "Geoff Cooksey obituary". The Guardian. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  7. ^ Morrison, James (3 August 2006). "The University of the First Age: summer schools with a difference". The Independent. London: Independent News and Media. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  8. ^ Berliner, Wendy (9 April 2002). "A great crusade". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media. Retrieved 22 March 2009.
  9. ^ Honorary graduate cumulative list, Open University
  10. ^ "Announcements from the RM Group of education companies - RM plc". www.rm.com.
  11. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 1.
  12. ^ "Tim Brighouse, former schools commissioner for London". schoolsweek.co.uk. 2 December 2014.
  13. ^ Norris, Miranda (16 December 2023). "Tributes paid to 'towering figure in education' in Oxfordshire". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 18 December 2023.
  14. ^ Millar, Fiona (1 January 2022). "'Many hold Gove responsible': education guru sets out what's wrong with England's schools". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 1 January 2022. Retrieved 1 January 2022.

External links[edit]