2020 Anniversary Awards

In 2018, SES offered 5 small grant opportunities to link to the theme of the 2019 Annual Colloquium ‘Educational reform legislation in a changing society’. The 2020 Anniversary Awards mark the sesquicentenary of the Elementary Education Act of 1870 in 2020, as each project will conclude by 2020, and are intended to support new research on educational reform legislation in a changing society.

A maximum of £10,000 per application was available, and the funded projects are outlined below. Reports will be made available on the SES website as they are published.

  • The Ministry of Reconstruction, the 1918 Education Act, and the shaping of 20th century adult education
    • Principal Investigator: Dr. Sharon Clancy, University of Nottingham
    • Co-Investigators: Prof. John Holford, University of Nottingham; Prof. Jonathan Michie, Kellogg College, University of Oxford; Dr. Cilla Ross, Co-operastive College, Manchester
    • Summary:This research examines the role played by the Education Act 1918 in shaping adult education, and its influence on the contemporaneous work of the Ministry of Reconstruction’s Adult Education Committee (AEC) (1917-19). It contributes to planned centenary activities designed to draw policy attention today to the significance of the Committee’s Final Report (Cmd 321, 1919), and to the importance of placing democracy at the heart of a renewed adult education system for the twenty first century.The project enables documentary research in the records of the Ministry of Reconstruction Adult Education Committee in the National Archives. Papers will be drafted on the AEC’s mode of work, as well as its relationship to the 1918 Act. It will also support meetings to exchange ideas and insights with those seeking to shape adult education today and to influence important policy debates about the social and economic conditions which best support adult learning.
    • Final Report available here.
  • British Students Study Abroad: From Robbins to Erasmus
    • Principal Investigator: Dr. Heather Ellis, University of Sheffield
    • Summary: This project has two related aims. Firstly, it seeks to investigate how widespread positive attitudes towards the study of British students abroad were within British government circles in the period between the publication of the Robbins Report in 1963 and the beginnings of the institutionalisation of study abroad (in a European context) with the piloting of the Erasmus scheme in 1981. It will ask how closely the promotion of the idea of overseas study and exchange was linked to a broader governmental agenda of cultural diplomacy in a Cold War context. Crucially, it will seek to establish to what extent such attitudes and aims were embedded within governmental legislation and regulatory reform in this period. Secondly, it seeks to produce, for the first time, a comprehensive data set detailing the numbers, destinations and subjects studied by British students studying abroad in this period and how these changed over time.
    • Final Report available here.
  • Roger Noel Armfelt’s contribution to Educational Reform, 1918–1955
    • Principal Investigator: Dr. Lottie Hoare, University of Cambridge
    • Summary: This research project will revise the standard interpretations of the character and effects of the 1918 and 1944 Education Acts in England by examining their
      representation in BBC broadcasting nationally, in practice at a local level in LEA’s where Roger Noel Armfelt (1897–1955) was active during his working life, and through Armfelt’s non-fiction publications and novels. The project will seek to answer: How did Armfelt work to promote public confidence in the laws of educational reform in the mid-twentieth century?
      Can we identify Armfelt’s distinct contribution to both representing and enacting educational reform, between 1918 & 1955? Did Armfelt’s approach to promoting public confidence in the laws of educational reform resurface amongst those who promoted the 1988 Education Act ?
    • Final Report available here.
  • University access and student life in the aftermath of the Great War: local, national and transnational dimensions of the Scheme for the Higher Education of Ex-Service Students (1918)
    • Principal Investigator: Dr. Daniel Laqua, Northumbria University
    • Co-Investigator: Dr. Georgina Brewis, Northumbria University
    • Summary: This project examines a transformative moment in the history of British higher education, namely the provision of grants for ex-servicement after the Great War. It investigates how the introduction of the Scheme for the Higher Education of Ex-Service Students in 1918 shaped British university life. In doing so, the project focuses on three case-study institutions: Oxford and Liverpool, which were among the largest English recipients of bursary students, and University College, Aberystwyth, which hosted more ex-service students than any other part of the University of Wales. As a whole, the project analyses the relationship between student funding and the re-making of British society after the Great War. The project will analyse a specific educational reform (the introduction of a government scheme for ex-service students) within a much broader context (the legacies of the Great War).
    • Final Report available here.
  • The Bishops and the Board Schools: the hierarchy of the Church of England, the Forster Education Act of 1870, and the shaping and founding of state-funded education
    • Principal Investigator: Prof. Stephen Parker, University of Worcester
    • Co-Investigator: Prof. Rob Freathy, University of Exeter
    • Summary: This research will provide an historical examination of the role of the Church of England in the lead up to, passage, and aftermath of the 1870 Education Act. In particular, it will investigate the views and influences of leading Anglican (arch)bishops on education (that is the archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the Bishops of Durham and London), their modus operandi and politicking on the passage of the Bill, and their actions and rhetoric in relation to leading church organisations, other ecclesiastics and politicians.  As well as contributing to the existing historiography, a key aim of this research will be to utilise the historical case study to inform wider debates on the later and contemporary role of the churches and other faith groups in (religious) educational policy formation.
    • Final Report available here.

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