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Robert Balchin, Baron Lingfield DL (born 31 July 1942) is a British educationalist, noted as an advocate and pioneer for school autonomy.[1]



Lord Lingfield serves as Chairman of the Trustees of ARNI. He is also the Chairman of the League of Mercy and a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater London.

He previously served as Director-General of St. John Ambulance from 1984 to 1990 and was chairman of the Grant-Maintained Schools Centre (formerly Foundation) from 1989 until 1999. He has been Chairman of the Centre for Education Management (now CEFM) since 1995.

Knighted in 1993,[2] becoming styled as Sir Robert Balchin, he was raised to the peerage as a Life Peer on 17 December 2010 as Baron Lingfield, of Lingfield in the County of Surrey.[3][4]

He was Knight Principal (chairman of the Knights' Council) of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor from 2006 to 2012,[5] and he has served as Honorary Colonel of Humberside and South Yorkshire ACF since 2004. The cadet-commandant of Yorkshire Army Cadet Force, Colonel Alan Roberts, OBE, TD, is a long-term associate of Lord Lingfield, serving as gentleman usher of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor, receiving an honorary doctorate from Brunel University and being appointed a companion of the Order of Mercy.[6][7][8]

A Freeman of the City of London, he is also a liveryman of the Goldsmiths', Broderers', and Apothecaries' companies.

Lord Lingfield sits on the Conservative benches in the House of Lords, and he speaks in parliament mainly on education matters.[9] He has written numerous articles on education and politics. His schools initiative was proclaimed by The Daily Telegraph's deputy editor, Benedict Brogan, as: "[being the] first and, as time passes, perhaps the most important legislative milestone achieved by the Coalition".[10]



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Lord Lingfield Kt DL Dlitt". Children's University. Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  2. ^ "No. 53284". The London Gazette. 23 April 1993. p. 7209.
  3. ^ "No. 59641". The London Gazette. 22 December 2010. p. 24505.
  4. ^ Hansard,; accessed 6 November 2016.
  5. ^ Profile, Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor website; accessed 6 November 2016.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Profile,; accessed 6 November 2016.
  10. ^ Benedict Brogan The Daily Telegraph 26 May 2011

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Sir Richard Gaskell
Knight Principal
of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor

2006 – 2012
Succeeded by
Sir Colin Berry