Status of Elite and Private Schools Debated at Education Colloquium

Posted on by Aidan Thompson

A debate on the status of elite and private schools in England in 2019 will take place at the Society for Educational Studies Annual Colloquium this week at Oriel College, Oxford (26-27 September).

Professor William Richardson (University of Exeter, and former General Secretary of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference) will give one of the Colloquium’s keynote addresses under the title ‘The public schools, nineteenth century legislation and the shaping of state maintained secondary education in England after 1902’, with the paper assessing how the legal, economic and political conditions of 1868-1907 went on to shape many aspects of secondary education across the twentieth century. Prof. Roy Lowe (formerly Universities of Birmingham, Wales and London ) will also give a paper at the Colloquium under the title ‘The charitable status of elite schools: the origins of a national scandal’, demonstrating the deep historical roots of, and identifying the pressure groups which,  generated a situation in which charitable status continues to be used to this day to benefit the children of the rich and privileged.

The two papers come at a timely point in debates on education with Labour Party members recently voting to commit the party to integrate private schools into the state sector, should they win the next general election and form a government.

The Society for Educational Studies Annual Colloquium is titled ‘Education Reform Legislation in a Changing Society’ and brings together academics to discuss, debate, and celebrate the many anniversaries of major Education Acts in both the UK and internationally. The keynote presentations and seminar papers will use such dates as starting points for broader discussions on continuities and changes in legislation involving the regime of power, control and regulation of education. Other keynote papers will come from Prof. Jane Martin (Birmingham), Prof. Gary McCulloch (UCL, Institute of Education), Prof. Stephen McKinney (Glasgow), and Prof. Anne West (London School of Economics). The Colloquium will take place over 26-27 September at Oriel College, Oxford, and is open to members of the Society.


About the Society:

The Society for Educational Studies is an educational charity founded in 1951 that aims to discuss and promote study in Education by ensuring quality and status of research and scholarship in Educational Studies, encouraging debate and discussion especially on educational policy issues, and acting as a public voice for Educational Studies especially in responding to critical attacks on the quality and integrity of the field.


Professor James Arthur, Chair, Society for Educational Studies [email protected]

Professor Gary McCulloch, Editor, British Journal of Educational Studies [email protected]

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