Sir Anthony Seldon MA, PhD, FRSA, MBA, FRHisS
Anthony Seldon is an authority on contemporary British history and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. He was formerly 13th Master of Wellington College, one of Britain's most famous independent schools. He is also author or editor of over 25 books on contemporary history, politics and education.
After gaining an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford, and a PhD at the London School of Economics, he qualified as a teacher at King's College, London, where he was awarded the top PGCE prize in his year. He also has an MBA. His first teaching appointment was at Whitgift School in Croydon in 1983, where he was Head of Politics. In 1989 he returned to his old school, Tonbridge, and became Head of History and General Studies. In 1993, he was appointed Deputy Headmaster and, ultimately, Acting Headmaster of St Dunstan's College in South London. He then became Headmaster of Brighton College from September 1997 until he joined Wellington College in January 2006 as 13th Master. He left Wellington College in summer 2015 to become Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, the only independent university in the UK with a Royal Charter. He has honorary doctorates or fellowships from the University of Buckingham, the University of Brighton and Richmond University and is a former Professor of Education at the College of Teachers. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts. He was appointed a Fellow of King's College London in 2013. He was knighted in the Queen's 2014 Birthday Honours list for services to education and modern political history.
He founded, with Professor Peter Hennessy, the Institute of Contemporary British History, the internationally respected body whose aim is to promote research into, and the study of, British history since 1945. He is a co-founder of Action for Happiness with Lord Richard Layard and Geoff Mulgan. He is on the Advisory Board of the New College of the Humanities in London. He is a patron of The Iris Project, which runs innovative Literacy through Latin schemes in schools in deprived urban areas, and DrugFAM, which supports families affected by a loved one's use of drugs or alcohol.
Anthony Seldon's books include Churchill's Indian Summer, which won a Best First Work Prize; Britain Under Thatcher; The Thatcher Effect; Major, A Political Life, the authorised biography of the former Prime Minister; Conservative Century, the standard academic history of the Conservative Party; The Powers Behind the Prime Minister, co-written with Professor Dennis Kavanagh; Number 10: The Illustrated History, which he is currently updating for publication in 2016; The Foreign Office: A History of the Place and its People; Blair and Blair Unbound, his acclaimed two-part biography of the former Prime Minister; three volumes of edited books on the Blair governments; Trust: How We Lost it and How to Get it Back; Brown at 10, with Guy Lodge; The Great War and Public Schools, with David Walsh; and The Architecture of Diplomacy: The British Ambassador's Residence in Washington, written with Daniel Collings. In March 2015 his new books, Beyond Happiness and The Coalition Effect 2010-2015, co-authored with Dr Mike Finn, were published. His newest political history, the authorised biography Cameron at 10 with Peter Snowdon, is published in September 2015. The book is the inside story of the Cameron premiership, based on over 300 in-depth interviews with senior figures in 10 Downing Street, including the Prime Minister himself. He has also been historical consultant on the memoirs of several former Prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries.
His education booklets include An end to factory schools: An education manifesto 2010-2020 (Centre for Policy Studies) March 2010 (click here to download a copy), Public and Private Education: The Divide Must End and Partnership Not Paternalism.
Sir Anthony is regarded as one of the country's most high profile commentators on education and appears regularly on television and radio and in the press, and writes for several national newspapers. His views on education have regularly been sought by the government and political parties. For 15 years he organised conferences which have helped set the education agenda, and which attracted Heads from across the UK. At Wellington College, he was known for being a passionate exponent of co-education, for supporting the International Baccalaureate approach to learning, and for the teaching of happiness/well-being and the development of the all-round child.
He is married to Joanna, who also teaches and writes, and they have three children, Jessica, Susannah and Adam. According to 'Who's Who, his interests are sport, directing plays, family and old English sports cars.