Dr Harry Judge, who died on Friday, was the Director of the Department of Educational Studies, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Brasenose College Oxford, from 1973 to 1988. He had, before his undergraduate studies, attended Cardiff High School, from where he went to Brasenose College Oxford with which he remained closely associated all his life.
That long period as Director, following twelve years as head teacher of the very large Banbury comprehensive school, prepared him well for creating the close partnership between the local secondary schools, the local education authority and the University, resulting in the unique Internship Scheme in which teachers in the schools were integrated with tutors in the department both in preparing future teachers and in researching their classroom practice. And that legacy still thrives.
Dr Judge gained an international reputation for his contribution to work on educational policy and practice, producing books on faith schools, comparative education (with special regard to France and the USA) and teacher training. He therefore was a frequent member of national commissions, in particular the influential James Committee on Teacher Education in 1972. Prior to that, he had been a member of the politically sensitive Commission in 1965, following Circular 10/65, which was established to advise the Government on the best way of integrating the public schools with the State system of education.
Dr Judge had clear political views on the conduct of education. In opposing the gradual political centralization of education during the 1980s, he wrote that the root error is that Government (any Government) should be in charge of education. … It is this error which is the cause and magnifier of all our ills. Schools are not outposts of the State.
Dr Judge’s contribution to education, through practice and through writing, is sorely missed. The funeral will be at St Mary’s, Kidlington on Wednesday 10th April at 2.30pm.
Obituary by Richard Pring (Emeritus Professor, Department of Education)