Sheila Jeanne Browne, (25 December 1924 – 26 August 2015) was an English academic specialising in Medieval French, Chief Inspector of Schools for the United Kingdom, and Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge.

Early life and education

Browne was born on 25 December 1924. She was educated at Ranelagh School in Bracknell, before studying modern languages at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. After graduating in 1945, she spent two years at the École Nationale des Chartes.


In 1947 Browne began teaching and researching as an Assistant Lecturer at Royal Holloway College, University of London. In 1951 she became a Tutor, Fellow and Lecturer in French at St Hilda's College, Oxford. In 1961 Browne was appointed as an Inspector of Schools, then in 1970 Staff Inspector for Secondary Education until 1972. She was promoted to Chief Inspector of Schools in 1974, and held this post until 1983. Her reports were frequently critical of government policy. She spoke out against what she saw as government interference in the operations and curriculum of the school system and about the standards set for school inspectors. She also spoke out about the need for research into effective methods of education in a changing society. In the 1977 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours, she was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath. Browne became an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College in 1978. She was Principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, from 1983 to 1992.


Browne did not marry. Her leisure interests included bellringing,"Sheila Browne RIP"
Newsletter of the Oxford Diocesian Guild of Church Bell Ringers. 7 September 2015
mountains and medieval France. She died on 26 August 2015.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Browne, Sheila Category:1924 births Category:2015 deaths Category:Academics of the University of Cambridge Category:Alumni of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford Category:British women academics Category:Companions of the Order of the Bath Category:École Nationale des Chartes alumni Category:Fellows of St Hilda's College, Oxford Category:People educated at Ranelagh Grammar School Category:Principals of Newnham College, Cambridge