Famous British Educators

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite British Educators

 1 
Cherie Blair
(Barrister)

Cherie Blair
5
Birthdate: September 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bury, England

Apart from being the wife of former UK prime minister Tony Blair, Cherie Blair is also a successful attorney in her own right. The daughter of actor Tony Booth, she is has also taught at the University of Westminster. She is associated with charitable campaigns on breast cancer and other causes, too.

 2 
Alison Balsom
(Musician)

Alison Balsom
4
Birthdate: October 7, 1978
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Royston, Hertfordshire, England, UK

Born to a builder father, Alison Balsom showed an early interest in the trumpet and played regularly with the Royston Town Band. A Guildhall alumna, she is now a 3-time Brit Award winner and has also won the 2013 Gramophone Artist of the Year. She is also a fan of yachting.

 3 
Mary Beard
(Professor)

Mary Beard
5
Birthdate: January 1, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Much Wenlock, United Kingdom

Known as the most famous classicist in the world, Mary Beard is a Cambridge professor who is also quite popular for her controversial blog A Don's Life. A DBE and OBE, she also contributes to BBC radio and TV shows and has been an editor for The Times Literary Supplement.

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 4 
Anna Leonowens
(Writer, Educator)

Anna Leonowens
5
Birthdate: November 5, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ahmednagar, India
Died: January 19, 1915

Indian-born British author Anna Leonowens is best remembered for her memoir The English Governess at the Siamese Court, which related her experience as a governess of the children of King Mongkut of Siam. The musical The King and I and the novel Anna and the King of Siam were inspired by her life.

 5 

Shirley Ballas
12
Birthdate: September 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Wallasey, Cheshire, England, UK

Alexander McCall Smith
4
Birthdate: August 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Alexander McCall Smith is a British-Zimbabwean writer best known for his The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of novels. A lawyer by qualification, he is a respected expert on medical law and bioethics. His books have sold over 40 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 46 languages. Also an amateur bassoonist, he co-founded The Really Terrible Orchestra.  

 7 
Peter Higgs
(Physicist)

Peter Higgs
6
Birthdate: May 29, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Newcastle upon Tyne, England

Peter Higgs is a British theoretical physicist. He studied at King's College London and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1954. He went on to have a brilliant academic career and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1983. In 2013, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Belgian physicist François Englert.  

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 8 
Mary Whitehouse
(Educator)

Mary Whitehouse
4
Birthdate: June 13, 1910
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England
Died: November 23, 2001

While she was initially a schoolteacher, who specialized in sex education, Mary Whitehouse later began a campaign against the moral standards of the media in Britain, particularly the BBC. She launched the Clean Up TV campaign, vocalizing her opposition toward content such as war and child pornography.

 9 
Andrew Jack
(Voice coach)

Andrew Jack
6
Birthdate: January 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 31, 2020

 10 
Fred Hoyle
(Astronomer)

Fred Hoyle
6
Birthdate: June 24, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bingley, England
Died: August 20, 2001

Fred Hoyle was an English astronomer known for his theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. He spent most of his career at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge, serving as its director for six years. He was also an author of science fiction novels, short stories, and plays and appeared in a series of radio talks on astronomy for the BBC.  

 11 
Terry Eagleton
(Literary critic)

Terry Eagleton
6
Birthdate: February 22, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: County Borough of Salford Salford, England

English literary theorist and critic Terry Eagleton, presently serving as Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, is a prominent critic of postmodernism and the New Atheism. His oeuvre includes over forty books among which Literary Theory: An Introduction (1983), which describes the emerging literary theory of the period, is considered to be one of his most notable works.   

 12 

Simon Armitage
6
Birthdate: May 26, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

 13 

Charles Freer Andrews
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: April 5, 1940

Charles Freer Andrews was a Christian missionary and Anglican priest. He was also an educator and social reformer. A close friend of Indian freedom fighters Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, he supported the Indian struggle for independence. Gandhi fondly called him Deenabandhu, or "Friend of the Poor". Even today, Andrews is widely respected in India. 

 14 

William Brewster
6
Birthdate: 1568 AD
Birthplace: Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England
Died: April 10, 1644

William Brewster was an English official. He was among the passengers that traveled in Mayflower from England to the New World. When the ship landed at Plymouth Colony, William Brewster was accepted as the senior elder and hence became the religious leader of the colony. Eventually, he ended up serving as an adviser to Governor William Bradford.

 15 
Alcuin
(Scholar, Clergyman and Poet)

Alcuin
4
Birthdate: 0735 AD
Birthplace: York, England
Died: May 19, 0804

Eighth-century Anglo-Latin poet and cleric Alcuin served as the head of the Palatine school, established by Charlemagne. A significant figure of the Carolingian Renaissance, he introduced English learning methods into Frankish schools and reformed Roman Catholicism. He also wrote extensively on education, philosophy, and theology.

 16 

Julian Lloyd Webber
4
Birthdate: April 14, 1951
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England

The son of world-renowned composer William Lloyd Webber and his piano teacher wife, Julian Lloyd Webber is also the brother of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. A talented celloist in his own right, he has taught at Guildhall and has collaborated with musical legends such as Yehudi Menuhin and Elton John.

 17 
Halford Mackinder
(Geographer)

Halford Mackinder
3
Birthdate: February 15, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gainsborough, England
Died: March 6, 1947

Halford Mackinder was an English geographer, politician, and academic. He is considered one of the founding fathers of geostrategy as well as geopolitics. Mackinder’s work helped establish geography as a separate discipline in the UK. An influential academic, Halford Mackinder held important positions in popular universities, including the University Extension College and the London School of Economics.

 18 
George Gissing
(Novelist)

George Gissing
3
Birthdate: November 22, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wakefield, England
Died: December 28, 1903

English novelist George Gissing is known for the way he showcased the realism of the lower-middle class in his works such as The Nether World. In spite of being a brilliant student, he was expelled from Owens College for theft. He specialized in the literary study of Charles Dickens and his works.

 19 
Charlotte Mason
(British Educator & Reformer)

Charlotte Mason
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales
Died: January 16, 1923

Renowned educator of the 1800s, Charlotte Mason introduced a new way of teaching children, which included the use of books which engage the reader, or what she called “living books,” maintaining a nature journal, and using music and art as resources. She helped develop homeschooling techniques that are in use to this day.

Lionel Charles Robbins, Baron Robbins
3
Birthdate: November 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sipson, Middlesex, England
Died: May 15, 1984

A leading free-market and neoclassical economist, Lionel Charles Robbins, or Baron Robbins, was known for his association with the London School of Economics. The son of a farmer, he trained to fight at World War I but went back home wounded. He also laid down his own definition of economics.

 21 
Stuart Hall
(Sociologist)

Stuart Hall
6
Birthdate: February 3, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: February 10, 2014

Jamaican-British Marxist sociologist and cultural theorist Stuart Hall is remembered as a pioneering figure of the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies. A skilled academic, he was also the founding-editor of the New Left Review. His encoding and decoding model remains one of his most remarkable contributions to culture studies.

 22 

Konstantin Novoselov
3
Birthdate: August 23, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nizhny Tagil, Russia

Konstantin Novoselov is a Russian-British physicist, currently serving as a professor at the Centre for Advanced 2D Materials, National University of Singapore. He is the Langworthy Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester as well. Along with Andre Geim, he jointly received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. 

 23 
Stephen Toulmin
(Philosopher)

Stephen Toulmin
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 4, 2009

Stephen Toulmin was a British author and philosopher. He is remembered for his efforts to develop practical arguments, which have been proved useful to evaluate the ethics behind morality. Toulmin's works were applied effectively in the field of rhetoric. The Toulmin model of argumentation, which was published in his book The Uses of Argument, is considered his most important work.

 24 
Mike Edwards
(Cellist)

Mike Edwards
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 3, 2010

 25 
Thomas Arnold
(Educator)

Thomas Arnold
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1795
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Cowes, England
Died: June 12, 1842

 26 
Angus Deaton
(Economist)

Angus Deaton
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1945
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland

British-American economist and Nobel laureate Angus Deaton revolutionized applied economics with his work on consumption, savings, poverty, and development. Apart from teaching at Princeton, he has penned multiple award-winning papers and given rise to concepts such as the Deaton Paradox. He was also the first to receive the Frisch Medal.

 27 
Rose Tremain
(Novelist)

Rose Tremain
3
Birthdate: August 2, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England

 28 
John Bayley
(Literary critic)

John Bayley
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Died: January 12, 2015

 29 
David Cox
(Statistician)

David Cox
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Birmingham, England

 30 
I. A. Richards
(Educator)

I. A. Richards
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sandbach, England
Died: September 7, 1979

British scholar and poet I. A. Richards is known for contributing to the New Criticism movement. While he initially taught English and moral sciences, he later focused on developing a new way of reading literature, known as practical criticism. The Meaning of Meaning remains one of his best-known works.

 31 

Malcolm Bradbury
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Sheffield, England
Died: November 27, 2000

 32 
Thomas The Rhymer
(Scottish poet)

Thomas The Rhymer
3
Birthdate: 1220 AD
Birthplace: Earlston, United Kingdom
Died: 1298 AD

 33 
A. V. Dicey
(Jurist)

A. V. Dicey
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1835
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England
Died: April 7, 1922

British jurist A. V. Dicey is best known for his Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, which forms the basis of the modern British constitution. Apart from teaching law at Oxford, he also served as the principal of the Working Men’s College of London.

 34 
Ralph Miliband
(Former Sociologist who published The State in Capitalist Society in 1969)

Ralph Miliband
0
Birthdate: January 7, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: May 21, 1994

 35 

Ninette de Valois
3
Birthdate: June 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Blessington, Ireland
Died: March 8, 2001

 36 
Hubert Parry
(Composer)

Hubert Parry
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1848
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bournemouth, England
Died: October 7, 1918

British composer Hubert Parry was a major figure behind the 19th-century revival of British music. Educated at Eton and Oxford, he later produced gems such as Songs of Farewell and Jerusalem, with the latter becoming an anthem of sorts during World War I. He was also a passionate sailor.

 37 
Katharine Birbalsingh
(Founder and headmistress of Michaela Community School, a free school)

Katharine Birbalsingh
0
Birthdate: 1973 AD
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand

 38 
R. M. Hare
(Philosopher)

R. M. Hare
3
Birthdate: March 12, 1919
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Backwell, England
Died: January 29, 2002

Best known for his theory on universal prescriptivism, British moral philosopher R. M. Hare initially studied classics at Balliol College, Oxford. He had also been part of World War II and captured by Japan. Essays on Political Morality remains one of his most significant works.

 39 
Richard Hoggart
(Academic)

Richard Hoggart
3
Birthdate: September 24, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Leeds, England
Died: April 10, 2014

William Sterndale Bennett
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1816
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sheffield, Yorkshire, England
Died: February 1, 1875

 41 
John Cowper Powys
(Philosopher)

John Cowper Powys
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1872
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shirley, England, United Kingdom
Died: June 17, 1963

 42 

Benjamin Jowett
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1817
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Camberwell, London, England
Died: October 1, 1893

Proving himself to be a brilliant classical scholar in school, Benjamin Jowett gained a scholarship to Balliol College, Oxford, where he was eventually elected a master and vice-chancellor. The 19th-century academic and Anglican theologian is remembered for his translation of The Dialogues of Plato and other classical texts.

 43 
Thomas Gold
(Professor)

Thomas Gold
3
Birthdate: May 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 22, 2004

Austrian-born astrophysicist Thomas Gold is best-remembered for proposing the steady state theory of the universe and for his deep gas hypothesis through which he re-defined the abiogenic hypothesis and made it popular in the West. He served as professor of astronomy at Cornell University and remained a member of National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 44 
Alicia Markova
(Ballerina)

Alicia Markova
3
Birthdate: December 1, 1910
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Finsbury Park, London, England
Died: December 2, 2004

 45 
John Sulston
(Biologist)

John Sulston
3
Birthdate: March 27, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cambridge, England
Died: March 6, 2018

 46 

Arthur Hugh Clough
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1819
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: November 13, 1861

 47 
Norman Angell
(Journalist)

Norman Angell
3
Birthdate: December 26, 1872
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Holbeach, Lincolnshire, England
Died: October 7, 1967

Nobel Prize-winning English economist Norman Angell had worked in multiple jobs in his early days and had even been a cowboy and a journalist. Best known for his iconic work The Great Illusion, he also designed a unique card game known as The Money Game, which focused on finance and currency.

 48 
Montague Druitt
(Cricketer, Educator)

Montague Druitt
0
Birthdate: August 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England
Died: December 31, 1888

 49 

Henry Liddell
3
Birthdate: February 6, 1811
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bishop Auckland, County Durham, United Kingdom
Died: January 18, 1898

 50 
Isaac Pitman
(Teacher)

Isaac Pitman
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1813
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Trowbridge, England
Died: January 22, 1897