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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 Chief Inspector of Schools in England.

Perry was educated at Wolverhampton Girls' High School and Girton College, Cambridge. In 1952 she married George Perry and had three sons and a daughter (Hon Christopher, Hon Timothy, Hon Hilary and Hon Simon). 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. 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 nominate Diocesan Bishops.

Perry was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1991 and became a life peer as Baroness Perry of Southwark, of Charlbury in the County of Oxfordshire the same year. She sits on the Conservative Party benches.

She is currently the co-chair of The Conservatives Public Services Commission.


  • President, Council for Independent Further Education
  • President, Foundation for Higher Education
  • President, Westminster & City Branch of Chartered Management Institute
  • Chair of City & Guilds Quality and Standards Committee
  • Governor of Gresham's School, Holt
  • Chair of Governors and Trustee of Roehampton Institute, University of Surrey
  • Pro-Chancellor and Member of Council, University of Surrey
  • Trustee, Bacon's City Technology College
  • Trustee, Cambridge University Foundation
  • Trustee, Daphne Jackson Memorial Trust
  • Companion of the Institute of Management
  • Member of the Institute of Directors
  • Member of the International Women's Forum
  • Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Bakers
  • Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers




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