Anthony Seldon

British educator, author and contemporary historian

Sir Anthony Seldon is a British educator and contemporary historian. He was the master (headmaster) of Wellington College, one of Britain’s co-educational independent boarding schools, and is the current Head Master of Epsom College. He was vice-chancellor of the University of Buckingham from 2015 to 2020.

As an author, he is known in part for his political biographies of consecutive British Prime Ministers. He is the author or editor of more than 45 books on contemporary history, politics and education. He was the co-founder and first director of the Centre for Contemporary British History, a body whose aim is to promote research into, and the study of, British history since 1945. He is honorary historical adviser to 10 Downing Street and a member of the First World War Centenary Culture Committee.

Sir Anthony appears on television and radio and in the press, and has written regularly for national newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and The Guardian. His views on education have been sought by the government and political parties, with Seldon promoting co-education, the International Baccalaureate, independent education, the teaching of happiness and well-being, and “all-round” education.

He has promoted well-being or happiness classes, which he introduced at Wellington College in 2006, and campaigned for a holistic, personalised approach to education rather than what he calls “factory schools”. Seldon is a co-founder of Action for Happiness with Richard Layard (Baron Layard), and Geoff Mulgan.

Sir Anthony is also a patron of The Iris Project, which runs literacy schemes through Latin in schools in deprived urban areas and of DrugFAM, which supports families affected by a loved one’s abuse of drugs or alcohol. He is a governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is on the board of a number of charities and educational bodies.

Sir Anthony was knighted in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to education and modern political history.

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