My father, Peter Baird, who has died aged 78, was an iconoclastic teacher and practitioner of social work. He taught social policy at the University of Birmingham for two decades from 1970 and was a provocative columnist for the magazine Social Work Today, questioning professional orthodoxies and railing against political correctness. Before and after his teaching years, he was a social worker who fought passionately for his clients.
Peter had energy for many causes. He agitated with neighbours and the local Victorian Society – with some success – for the preservation of Birmingham’s old buildings. He was proud to have written a chapter on the architect Charles Edge for a Victorian Society book.