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Blackstone, Tessa (1942–)

Blackstone, Tessa (1942–)

English sociologist, educator and politician. Name variations: Tessa Blackstone; Baroness Tessa Ann Vosper Evans Blackstone; Baroness of Stoke Newington. Born Tessa Ann Vosper Blackstone, 1942, in Bures, Suffolk, England; attended London School of Economics; m. Thomas Evans, 1963 (div., died 1985).

Known as the "Red Baroness" while in academia, lectured in sociology at Enfield College of Technology (1965–66) and in social administration at London School of Economics for 9 years; served as advisor to Central Policy Review Staff in Cabinet Office (1975–78) and as professor of Educational Administration at University of London Institute of Education (1978–83); became director of education at Inner London Education Authority, before being appointed master of London University's Birkbeck College (1987); awarded Labour life peerage (1987) and served in House of Lords as opposition bench speaker on education and science (1988–92) and on foreign affairs; served on board of Royal Opera House for 10 years, 6 of them as chair of Royal Ballet; wrote several books on education and social issues, including Prisons and Penal Reform (1990); was Labour's education spokesperson (1997–2001); appointed minister for the arts (2001); became vice-chancellor of University of Greenwich (2004).

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