The Lord Lingfield is a former teacher, lecturer and Pro-Chancellor of Brunel University. He was knighted (as Sir Robert Balchin) for services to education in 1993, and his appointment as Knight Principal of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor (Chairman of the Knights’ Council) was approved by Her Majesty The Queen in 2006.
The Lord Lingfield served as a senior education policy adviser to the Conservative Government throughout the early 1990s, devising and running the national programme for autonomy in state schools and chairing the Grant-Maintained School Foundation from 1989-1998. He was the founding Vice Chairman of the Funding Agency for Schools and was asked by The Rt. Hon. David Cameron to chair the Commission on Special Needs in Education between 2006 to 2010. He is Chairman of the Chartered Institution for Further Education, which he founded in 2015 at the request of the then Secretary of State for Education, and Founder Chairman of The English Schools Orchestra.