Past HES Conferences

2015 HES Conference

Dates: 20-22 November 2015.

Title: Science, Technologies and Material Culture in the History of Education.

Keynotes: Prof. Ruth Watts (Birmingham), Dr. Claire Jones (Liverpool) and Prof. Jonathan Reinarz (Birmingham)

Location: Liverpool Hope University/Best Western Feathers Hotel Liverpool.

Final programme

All The Other Educational Places

The 2015 Postgraduate Event 'All The Other Educational Places' took place on Thursday 26th November 2015 at UCL Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London. This event explored education outside of ‘school’ as it is conventionally defined.

There were talks by: 

- John Field, Emeritus Professor of Lifelong Learning, (University of Stirling): ‘Researching life in Britain's work camps, 1920-1939: memory, texts and hindsight’
- Stephanie Spencer, Reader in the History of Women’s Education, (University of Winchester): 'Sites of learning: school stories for girls before the 1944 Education Act' 

And papers by three postgraduate students: 

- Emily Charkin, (UCL/IoE) "The right setting for a child is the community itself': self-build and radical education in the 1970s"
- Laura Newman (King's College, London) "The successes and failures of object lessons in health at a Kent sanatorium, 
- Jane Shephard (University of Brighton) " 'Training the eye in infancy, and preventing undesirable impressions of disorder': mediating education and decoration through friezes and stencil designs for the home nursery, 1920-1924" 

The event was organised by the History of Education Society in association with ICHRE 

Transnationalism, gender and teaching: perspectives from the history of education

Read a review of the conference here

Annual Conference of the History of Education Society (UK)
University College Dublin
21st-23rd November 2014

Keynote speakers
Professor Joyce Goodman MBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Winchester
Professor Elizabeth Smyth, Vice-Dean, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto
Professor Dáire Keogh, President, St Patrick’s College, & Cregan Professor of Modern Irish History, Dublin City University

The 2014 Annual Conference focused on the theme of 'Transnationalism, gender and teaching: perspectives from the history of education' and many considered the following sub-themes:

International education networks & alliance
Travel, transnational mobility and global citizenship
Knowledge formation & travel writing | education and the Grand Tour
Education and diasporas | missionary education
Travel scholarships, boarding and finishing schools, school tours
Education & experiential travel | teachers as ambassadors
Networks of schools and teachers | voluntarism, voluntary action and education
Life histories| history in the margins | masculinities and femininities
Heritage education and global knowledge| cross-cultural studies and the history of education
Nationality, language and schooling | transnational femininities | space and place
Academic leadership, public intellectuals and international education
Gender and university teaching | gender-differentiated curricula and schooling
Materialities of teaching | visual histories | education archives
Reading, libraries and transnational culture | books, publishing and the transfer of ideas
Teacher education and gender | teacher unions and professional societies

The conference host was the School of Education, University College Dublin, Ireland, and the venue was Bewley’s Hotel / Thomas Prior Hall, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland.

ISCHE 36, Education, War and Peace, London, 23-26 July 2014

ISCHE 36 was the largest conference in the history of education ever held in the UK. Located at the Institute of Education, University of London, there was an exciting academic programme with four keynotes, over 600 papers and a number of special sessions aimed at postgraduates and early career researchers. The strong cultural programme included a specially commissioned exhibition featuring the collections of the Newsam Library and Archives and a private view of the new First World War galleries at the Imperial War Museum. See or on twitter @ische2014.

History of Education Society Annual Conference 2013

Theme: Politics, Professionals & Practitioners
Dates: November 22nd - 24th 2013
Venue: Mercure Southgate Hotel, Exeter, UK

Keynote speakers:
- Professor Ivor Goodson, University of Brighton
- Professor Helen Gunter, University of Manchester
- Professor Jane Martin, University of Birmingham
- Professor Mike Shattock, University of London

Conference themes:
- Professional cultures, identities and knowledge
- Professionalism in policy and practice
- Autonomy and accountability in education
- (Auto-)biographies and life-histories of professionals and practitioners
- Professional and practitioner associations, unions, pressure groups and activism
- Initial and continuing professional development
- Methodology, theory and historiography
- Professionalism in post-compulsory educational settings
- Academic identities, policies and practices
- De-professionalisation and amateurism in education
- The ‘expert’ and novice professional or practitioner
- Leading, managing, recruiting and retaining professionals and practitioners
- Ethics and social justice in relation to professionals and practitioners
- Professional learning and accreditation

Witness to Change: sharing student and teacher perspectives

The History of Education Society (UK) Student Conference
The School of Education, University of Birmingham
Saturday 22 June 2013
Speakers included Professor Bernard Barker, Professor Clyde Chitty and Professor Jane Martin

Call for Papers: Postgraduate Speakers/early career researchers

Presentations included ten minute individual talks on students' current research and talks of similar length on the ‘1000 words on a source’ panel for which speakers were asked to bring the source or a representation of it with them for the audience to see or hear and discuss. The conference was organised by Lottie Hoare and Emily Charkin.

History of Education Society Annual Conference 2012

Theme: Rulers, Rebels & Reformers
Dates: November 30th-December 2nd 2012
Venue: Winchester Hotel, Hampshire, UK

Programme and Book of Abstracts.

Winchester has been associated with education since King Alfred promoted learning as part of his reforms as King of England ruling from Wessex. This conference addressed the familiar theme of the ‘Three Rs’, here revised as Rulers, Rebels and Reformers, each in their own way central to understanding drivers for change in formal and informal education. Papers were invited which had a historical perspective and reflected the theme of the conference within one or more of the following strands:

Education, social and political reform
Education and the city and/or the citizen
Education, religion, piety and spirituality
Education, nation and the transnational
Educative places, spaces and heterotopias
Education, gender, sexuality and difference
Objects of desire, education, the material and the visual
Reforming, ruling or rebelling? Schools, colleges and university histories

Postgraduates and new researchers were invited to give 10 minute presentations on work in progress. A new poster session was also introduced. 

Different Possible Worlds: HES Postgraduate & New Researcher Conference 2012

Different Possible Worlds: a conference for postgraduate and new researchers interested in the history of education was held on Saturday 14 April 2012 at
Lucia Windsor Room, Newnham College, Cambridge CB3 9DF. For further information.

History of Education Society Annual Conference 2011

Theme: Sport, health and the body in the history of education
Venue: Glasgow University Union

Recent years have seen a rapid growth of interest in the history of sport, and historians of education have participated fully in this development. A burgeoning historiography of physical education in many cultures and contexts, and broadly defined, has brought new breadth to the history of education. At the same time, historians of education have remained interested in health and the body, and significant work has been carried out at the intersection of the histories of medicine, education and sport. Recent articles in the Society's journal, History of Education, have considered a range of topics including school medical inspection in the Netherlands, physical education in interwar Scotland, sport in British universities, and gymnastics in nineteenth-century Hungarian schools.

Glasgow University Union (GUU) is a large, well-equipped building, in the heart of Glasgow's west end. It is one of Britain's oldest student unions, established in 1885, although the current building dates from 1931. Many leading figures in twentieth century Scottish and British politics have been associated with the GUU, including John Smith, Menzies Campbell, Donald Dewar and Charles Kennedy. The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451, and moved to its current location in the west end of the city in 1870. Visitor attractions include the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, the Mackintosh House and the Kelvingrove Museum. Guided tours of the university and other Glasgow attractions will be available for delegates to the conference.

Conference programme - Abstracts

History of Education Society (UK) Annual Conference 2010

The History of Education Society (UK) Annual Conference took place between 26th and 28th November 2010. The conference was held at Garden Halls, 19 - 26 Cartwright Gardens, London, WC1H 9EF. The conference theme was 'Citizenship, Religion and Education'. The programme included a presidential address by Joyce Goodman (University of Winchester, UK) and keynote papers by Thérèse Hamel (Université Laval, Quebec, Canada), Kevin Myers (University of Birmingham, UK) and Rebecca Rogers (Université Paris Descartes, France). There was also a panel for postgraduate students.

The place of citizenship and religion in education is complex and contested and the relationship between the two is open to debate. For example, citizenship has been associated with a particular set of moral values and behaviours as well as certain types of political participation and activity within different local, national and global arenas. Questions have also been raised about how far education for citizenship should be part of the remit of schools and other educational institutions. Similar discussions arise with regard to religion. Teaching about religion has often been perceived to be an important educational activity. Religious organisations have been significant providers of education throughout the world and religious beliefs have stimulated considerable educational activism. On the other hand, tensions between faith traditions and denominations have been fought out in educational arenas, arguably with the effect of hindering rather than advancing educational work. It has also been questioned whether religion should have any place in educational settings at all.

Conference programme

History of Education Society (UK) Postgraduate & Early Career Researcher Conference 2010

The 2010 History of Education Society conference for postgraduate and early career researchers was held at Homerton College, Cambridge University on 19 June. The conference theme, History of Education: what it’s for and why it matters, invited a wide variety of papers, giving all in attendance an opportunity to reflect on the value of educational history as well as considering how such scholarship might best seek to recover and investigate the roles, perspectives and experiences of adults and/or young people in a range of institutional and informal settings.

The first keynote was delivered by Dr Catherine Burke who spoke of the importance of the perspective of the child in the history of education and how this might best be accessed through an array of sources which address and illuminate the experiences of pupils in the past.   Dr Peter Cunningham gave the second keynote concerning the multifarious role of the adult in education, the study of which, he said, represents a rich canvas with many opportunities for education historians to make meaningful contributions to current policy debates.

The keynotes were followed by a total of seven papers featuring an extraordinarily wide range of research topics, from the use of common objects in the classrooms of Victorian Britain to the purposes and values of higher education in the historical context. The programme concluded with an audience led round table discussion in which four panel members gave a brief commentary on the day’s proceedings in addition to responding to a variety of research-related issues and questions raised by the delegates.

For further information, please click here.

'Beyond the Lecture Hall: universities and community engagement from the middle ages to the present day' (2008)

In September 2008, the Society collaborated with the Faculty of Education and Institute of Continuing Education at Cambridge University, to convene a conference on the theme: 'Beyond the Lecture Hall: universities and community engagement from the middle ages to the present day'. The event marked the 800th anniversary of the University, founded in 1209.

An international gathering of leading scholars heard 50 papers and the conference was also supported by Cambridge Assessment, celebrating their 150th anniversary, and Cambridge University Press founded in 1584.

Conference proceedings addressed community engagement in general, and specific themes of print, publication and broadcasting, professional education, universities and schools, adult and continuing education. Coverage was national and international, but with Cambridge a frequent point of reference.

A selection of papers is now published online and in print by the Faculty in collaboration with ICE (see flyer). The online text can be accessed and the print edition ordered at:

Joyce Goodman, Gordon Dadswell and Rosemary O'Day

Photograph: Joyce Goodman, President of HES, with two of the contributing authors to Beyond the Lecture Hall: Gordon Dadswell, University of Melbourne, and Rosemary O'Day, Open University

The History of Education Society (UK) Annual Conference (2009)

December 4-6 2009, Putting Education in its Place, annual conference of the HES (UK), University of Sheffield.

Abstracts of papers may be accessed here.


A group of students from the Royal Albert Memorial College, Exeter, 1908.

St Luke’s College, Orchestra. 1920s.

 St Luke’s College Library.

Acton Technical College – exam desks