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The University of Southampton

How the links between inequality and wellbeing affect our current political discourse Event

Baroness Claire Tyler
12 October 2017
Building 67, Room 1027 Highfield Campus

For more information regarding this event, please email .

Event details

This event has been rescheduled. Please note the new date - booking will open at the beginning of July.

The live-stream will be available to view on this page from 18:00 on 12 October

Trust and social cohesion are crucial to a fair and well-functioning society. More than ever, people are expressing feelings of disconnection from the political process and from communities. Feelings of inequality and declining social mobility may be a significant part of the problem. But more broadly, people’s own feelings of life satisfaction – their self-reported wellbeing – could present a fuller picture of the current condition of communities. The debate and vote around the UK’s decision to leave the EU points to low levels of trust and social cohesion in Britain today. We need to explore whether a nuanced treatment of the challenges facing the UK in 2017 goes beyond money, and ask how differences in levels and inequalities of wellbeing impact society today.

Speaker details

Advocacy for Social Mobility, Families and Vulnerable Children

Baroness Claire Tyler became the Chair of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) in February 2012. She was nominated as a Liberal Democrat Peer in November 2010 and from 1 February 2011 has sat in the House of Lords as Baroness Tyler of Enfield.

In the House of Lords, Claire is currently chair of the Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion, which will report in March 2017. She is currently Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility. For the latter, she helped to produce the report “The Class Ceiling: widening access to the professions”, released in January 2017 in collaboration with the Sutton Trust. She was also lead author of the “Character and Resilience Manifesto”, published in 2014, which was written in collaboration with the think tanks CentreForum and Character Counts.  Recently, she served on the Select Committee on Social Mobility, which reported in April 2016. Previously, she has been a member of the Select Committee on Public Services and Demography which produced the report “Ready for Ageing”, and the Affordable Childcare Select Committee which reported in March 2015. Claire also chaired the Parliamentary Inquiry into Parenting and Social Mobility, which reported in March 2015.

Outside of Parliament, Claire has been the President of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) since August 2012, and a Vice President of Relate since November 2012. She also chairs the “Make Every Adult Matter” coalition of charities helping adults with multiple needs. She

Previously, Claire sat on the Poverty and Disadvantage Committee of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2002-2006). This followed a number of senior positions within Government, the last of which was Director of the Vulnerable Children’s Group at the Department for Children, Schools and Families (now the Department for Education). Before then, Claire had been the Director of the Government’s Social Exclusion Unit. She also chaired the ‘Kids in the Middle’ coalition, a group of national charities and agony aunts campaigning for better services for separating parents and their children.

Mental Health Advocacy

Claire is now the Lead Lib Dem Spokesperson for Mental Health in the Lords. She chaired the Values-Based Child and Adolescent Mental Health System Commission, which reported in November 2016. She was also a member of the Think Ahead Board overseeing a new adult mental health social work fast track programme from 2012, before stepping down in November 2016. Between 2007 and 2012 Claire was the Chief Executive Officer of Relate, the UK’s leading relationship support agency.

Other Parliamentary Experience

Claire was co-chair of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Charitable Giving which reported in June 2014.  In 2013 she chaired the Liberal Democrat policy working group which produced the report “A Balanced Working Life” and was a member of the Liberal Democrat Working Group on an Ageing Population which reported in 2014.

Claire is also a Vice President of Liberal International Great Britain, and Vice Chair of:

•             The All Party Parliamentary Group for Parents and Families

•             The All Party Parliamentary Group on Carers

•             The All Party Parliamentary Group on Strengthening Relationships.

Other Public Engagements

For five years Claire was joint chair of the Social Policy Forum and has sat on the Executive Committee of the Public Management and Policy Association for 7 years.  She is a member of the Advisory Council of the Step Up to Serve campaign, and was a board member of the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister from April 2002 until June 2006.  From July 2000 to April 2002 Claire was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Connexions Service.


After graduating in law and politics from the University of Southampton, Claire joined the Greater London Council/Inner London Education Authority in 1978 and in 1988 she joined the Civil Service. Claire also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.


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