Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Professor Tess Ridge receives OBE

Thu Mar 09 16:47:00 GMT 2017

One of the University's leading social scientists, Professor Tess Ridge, has been made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to social sciences at an event held in Buckingham Palace presided over by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

Professor Tess Ridge with sons Adam and Tom

Professor Tess Ridge with sons Adam and Tom


Tess has been at the University since arriving as a mature student to study social policy and administration in the mid-1990s. Her doctorate research, published as Childhood Poverty and Social Exclusion: From a Child's Perspective, quickly became a widely read and much cited book. She was appointed as a lecturer in 2000, reader in 2011 and professor in 2012.

Contrary to accepted academic and policy positions, which saw children as passive victims of poverty or used adults to provide information about the impact of poverty in childhood, Tess approached the issue from a child-centred perspective. Her ground-breaking research has produced new theoretical insights, based on children's lives and experiences.

Commenting on receiving the award, she said: "It was a great honour to receive my award at the Palace for my work on childhood poverty and social exclusion. It was a wonderful day and I was privileged to meet some very interesting people and hear about their work."

Head of the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, Dr Joe Devine added: "Tess' contributions to policy debates around childhood poverty have been path-breaking and impactful, most notably in her contributions to the 2010 Child Poverty Act. We are delighted that her commitment to developing new ways to understand these complex policy challenges has been recognised in this way."

In addition to work on the 2010 Child Poverty Act, Professor Ridge has helped local government devise plans to tackle child poverty, working also with groups like the Children's Society and the Child Poverty Action Group. She has been an adviser to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union.