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The University of Oxford’s Department of Education has launched its flagship lecture series for Michaelmas term and members of the public are invited.

This term’s theme is “Imperial ‘legacies’: Race and Education” and there will be a whole host of prominent internal and external speakers presenting.

Professor in Vocational Education, Susan James Relly, who organised the series, said: “We’re delighted to be launching the first public lecture series of the academic year. These are our flagship lectures showcasing excellent research undertaken by a range of internal and external speakers.

“Many factors shape our understanding of what learning is and how it happens. This can be implicit or explicitly articulated and open to examination. And it is important that we examine these understandings using a variety of lenses.

“This series draws on people working across disciplines and focusses on the way that colonial histories matter to the questions of education in the current world. This includes the multiplicity of ways we need to understand race and education to ensure that learning and teaching enables equity, diversity and belonging for all students.”

All events are held from 5pm until 6.30pm on Mondays at the Department (Lecture Room A, 15 Norham Gardens, Oxford) and are also available via Zoom. A drinks reception follows in Pring’s Café.

Full details are below. Email to get the relevant Zoom invite.

To see what other events the Department arranges, go to


Public Lectures Series Michaelmas Term 2022 Monday 5-6.30pm

Imperial ‘legacies’: Race and Education

17th October

Introduction. Race, education and schooling. Chair: Jason Todd with introduction to lecture series from Susan James Relly. Panel: Sally Tomlinson, Michelle Codrington-Rogers and Jason Todd.

24th October

Empires of the Mind: How empire is still with us in the 21st century. Robert Gildea, Prof of Modern History, University of Oxford. Chair: Natasha Robinson. Interlocutor: Caine Lewin Turner, Doctoral Student and Race and Resistance’s co-convenor, History Faculty, Oxford), Marshalled by Memory: Black Responses to State Violence and the Threat of Resistance.

31st October

Beyond jingoistic ignorance : Trying to rebuild hope in a multiracial multicultural society. Danny Dorling, Prof of Human Geography, University of Oxford. Chair: Steve Puttick. Interlocutor: Amber Murrey, Associate Professor in Human Geography, University of Oxford, Confronting the deafening silence on race in geography education in England: learning from anti[1]racist, decolonial and Black geographies.

7th November

Are mixed ability classes bad for school performance and educational choice? Or for social and ethnic inequality? Prof Janne Jonsson, Nuffield College and Department of Sociology, University of Oxford. Chair: Susan James Relly.

14th November

Muslim children and schooling Aminul Hoque, Lecturer in Education, Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Chair: Jason Todd.

21st November

Creative Multilingualism Katrin Kohl, Prof of German Literature, University of Oxford. Chair: Heath Rose.

28th November

Panel: Race, education and schooling. Policing in schools and implications for anti-racist school policy. Dr Shabna Begum, Head of Research, Runnymede. Black British English & History students’ experiences of their time in secondary school/sixth form. Lesley Nelson Addy, Education Manager, Runnymede. Lit in Colour: considerations for curriculum and teachers. Dr Velda Elliot, Associate Professor of English and Literacy Education. Chair: Jason Todd.

Last Thursday (22.09.22) saw the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of the Rees Centre. Leon Feinstein (Director of the Rees Centre), Judy Sebba (Professor Emeritus of Education), and Sir John Timpson mark a decade of achievement in providing improved education, wellbeing and life outcomes for those who have been supported by children’s social care services. Congratulations on this very special achievement and many more to come.
Rees Centre 10th Anniversary
Rees Centre 10th Anniversary

The REF Impact Case studies have been published. The Department of Education has submitted 5 impact case studies which were all ranked at 4*. The impact case studies illustrate the breadth, depth and quality of the impact that the research carried out in the department is making on the policy and practice of education. Further information about the impact case studies can be found at at

Professor Jo-Anne Baird and Associate Professor Michelle Meadows, from the Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment speak to Schools Week this month (August 2022) about how exams cannot close the attainment gap, and the importance of addressing the underlying causes. Read the full article by clicking here.

I haven’t been able to put this book down! It covers adversity and trauma through a mixture of reflections, discussion points, poems and written conversations‘, that’s one reader’s reaction to a new book by Lisa Cherry who is currently completing a DPhil at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, and asking the research questions: “How do care-experienced adults who have been excluded from school understand those experiences? How do their experiences deepen understandings of belonging?”

Congratulations to Lisa who has been awarded Routledge’s Outstanding Book in HSS & BS&E for her latest book ‘Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People‘, which endeavours to explore and build upon the research underpinning the impact on care-experienced adults.

Lisa comments: ‘This book is essentially a collaboration highlighting outstanding practice in relationship focused approaches with children and young people. I am so proud of what has been achieved.’

You can purchase your copy here.

Families across England have made history this month (June 2022) as they joined the first new national birth cohort study of babies to be launched in more than two decades, at a time of huge significance for the country as it emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study will be led by UCL researchers in partnership with Ipsos and the universities of Cambridge and Oxford and Birkbeck, University of London. Tens of thousands of letters have been sent out across the country to more than 8,000 parents and their babies, inviting them to take part in the nationally representative “Children of the 2020s” study.

Commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE), the study will follow children during the first five years of their lives, and potentially beyond, shedding new light on the factors that can influence their development in the early years.

The evidence gathered will answer important scientific and policy questions, which will help inform decisions about early years and childcare services and improve the lives of families with young children in England.

With their babies now nine months old, the families randomly selected to take part will soon be visited by the study’s interview team, starting from next week, to answer questions about their child’s development, family circumstances and their own lives.

Funded initially for five years, parents will be asked about their child’s development, their neighbourhood and family context, family structure, health and mental health, the home learning environment, and formal and informal childcare provision and preschool education.

Study director, Professor Pasco Fearon (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences and the University of Cambridge) said: “We are extremely excited to start meeting with families next week for the first new birth cohort study of babies in England since the millennium”.

Co-investigator Dr. Sandra Mathers at the University of Oxford, Department of Education, is leading the aspect of the work which focuses on children’s childcare and education. She comments: “Children’s experiences during their first five years shape their development later in life. In this time following the COVID-19 pandemic, understanding how childcare and early education can help promote children’s wellbeing, social skills and learning will be vital. The Children’s of the 2020s Study will provide important evidence about how early years services can support children to make the best start at school and flourish as they are growing up.”

Between the surveys, the research team will invite parents to use a smartphone app to log their baby’s language and development, while receiving news and tips from the team of experts.

With parents’ consent, routine administrative data, held by government departments, such as family health, educational and social care records, will be linked to their survey data, enabling researchers to gain a more detailed picture of participants’ lives.

Children and Families Minister, Will Quince, said: “This is an important study that will provide an insight into the crucial early years of a child’s life and a wealth of evidence about their development and educational outcomes. We know the pandemic has created unique challenges for families and I’d like to thank the thousands who will be participating in this study over the next five years.

“We are committed to supporting families, including through a multi-million-pound package to transform services, which will create Family Hubs in half of all local authorities and provide important advice to parents and carers through the Start for Life offer.”

Speaking ahead of a visit to UCL last year to learn about the new study, Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge said: “Our early childhoods shape our adult lives and knowing more about what impacts this critical time is fundamental to understanding what we as a society can do to improve our future health and happiness.

“The landmark Children of the 2020s study will illustrate the importance of the first five years and provide insights into the most critical aspects of early childhood, as well as the factors which support or hinder positive lifelong outcomes.”


The Equity, Diversity and Belonging (EDB) Committee lecture was hosted in Trinity Term 2022 by Professor Caleb Gayle, who practices at Northeastern University, Boston. Caleb was a student at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, and went on to become an award-winning journalist who writes about the impact of history on race and identity. A senior fellow at Northeastern’s Burnes Center, he is a fellow at New America, PEN America, and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies. He is the author of ‘We Refuse to Forget’ which tells the extraordinary story of the Creek Nation, a Native tribe that two centuries ago both owned slaves and accepted Black people as full citizens. Winner of the Matthew Power Literary Reporting Award, Gayle’s writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Guernica, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, among many other publications. Prior to Northeastern, Gayle served as a Lecturer at the CUNY-City College of New York, and a Visiting Scholar at the Arthur Carter Journalism Institute at NYU. He also worked as a writer and US News Fellow for the Guardian. Gayle also spent time in management consulting at Boston Consulting Group, a fellow at the think tank Demos, and in philanthropy as a Program Officer at the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

Watch the insightful Equity, Diversity and Belonging (EDB) Committee video.

Related links

Right at the forefront of teaching research; informing and inspiring our teaching education methodology, our department has been in existence for 100 years.

We offer a set of internationally recognised MSc courses, including a number of innovative part-time programmes for professional educators, and an ‘outstanding’ PGCE.  We also have a thriving doctoral programme, with around 120 doctoral students who work closely with the department’s academic staff and its research groups.

There is huge amount to offer students who are keen to learn and research in Education.

The following study courses at the Department are still open and accepting applications:

Everything you need to know about making an application is available on the University of Oxford’s Application Guide webpage. If after reading this information you still have questions, please get in touch with us. You will find the contact details on the relevant course pages on our website.

We are also still accepting applications for our ‘outstanding’ Ofsted-rated PGCE in the following subjects:

Our PGCE programme runs on a full-time basis and provides training to students for the teaching of a variety of subjects at secondary school level. Apply directly to join one of the PGCE courses above.

The Oxford Internship scheme, as the PGCE programme is known at the University, is a one-year, full-time course of teacher education for graduates, involving a close partnership between the University department and local partnership schools.

“I can’t recommend the PGCE at Oxford highly enough. It kick-started my career in education by giving me the skills to develop situated methodologies for my classroom, drawing on practical understandings as well as education research”, Laura Molway (PGCE in Modern Foreign Languages)

Trainee teachers are known as interns during the PGCE course. At Oxford, interns are prepared to teach in secondary schools (11-19 age range) in one of the above PGCE subjects.