Lord Sutherland of Houndwood

Former Chair of the CIEA

Lord Stewart Sutherland of Houndwood sadly passed away on January 29, 2018, aged 76.  He was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, but carried on lecturing and attending the Lords until relatively recently. Stewart was a highly distinguished academic and a very active member of the House of Lords where he was appointed as a crossbench member in 2001.

Following graduation at the University of Aberdeen, he went on to read philosophy at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was awarded an MA in the philosophy of religion. He held teaching posts at Bangor University and at the University of Stirling before being given a chair in the history and philosophy of religion at King’s College London in 1977.

In 1981 he became vice-principal of King’s College London, taking over as principal in 1985. He also served from 1988 to 1991 as a governor of Birkbeck College.

In 1990 he became vice-chancellor of the University of London and two years later he was appointed as the chief inspector of schools and the head of Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education). In 2002, he was a member of an international panel of experts set up by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to report on GCE A level standards. Stewart was an advocate for greater recognition of teacher education in universities and will also be remembered for his role as Chairman of the Royal Commission on Care for the Elderly proposing almost 20 years ago that health and social care budgets should be merged to provide care free of charge.

A very proud Scotsman, Stewart had been the president of the Saltire Society and the president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He was appointed a Knight of the Order of the Thistle, the highest honour in Scotland, in 2002.

Stewart was Chairman of the CIEA between 2009 and 2012 where he will be remembered for his active engagement and wise counsel. What was equally striking was that despite his wide-ranging achievements and standing in the education sector and beyond, he was incredibly humble with a fine sense of humour.

Lord Sutherland is survived by his wife Sheena, a distinguished virologist and director of the Scottish Cancer Foundation, a son and two daughters.