Professor William Richardson
Honorary Visiting Professor
Since September 2011, William Richardson has been the 15th General Secretary of HMC (The Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference). HMC is the oldest and most prominent association in the Anglophone world representing independent schools. See: http://www.hmc.org.uk/.
My current research interests are:
- historic and contemporary conceptions of merit and how these inform public policy
- the politics of assessment
- schools in continuous operation since the medieval period
- social, political and economic attitudes towards fee-paying schools
My recent work on the politics of assessment can be found in:
Richardson, W. (2011) England’s ‘examinations industry’: deterioration and decay. A report from HMC on endemic problems with marking, awarding, re-marks and appeals at GCSE and A level, 2007-12. Market Harborough, HMC. http://www.hmc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/HMC-Report-on-English-Exams-9-12-v-13.pdf
During 1986 to 2011, when I was a full-time academic, my writings focused on:
- education policy and practice:
- post-compulsory education and work-based learning
- historic and comparative aspects of technical/’vocational’ education
- education and the knowledge economy
- policy capacity in government
- assessment and examinations
- social change in the history of education
- the evolution of educational research:
- the development of the field in the Anglophone world since 1945;
- the historiography of education and historical methods in research;
- the politics of educational research.
Over that period I held academic positions at the Universities of Warwick, Sheffield and Exeter where I was Professor of Education and Director for the Research Centre for the Learning Society (2000 - 2011) and Head of the Graduate School of Education (2002 – 2007). I was a governor of the University of Exeter during 2004-07.
During 1986-2011 I authored 109 publications, comprising:
- 50 scholarly publications
- 29 research reports
- 20 evaluation reports
- 10 teaching publications
- 2008 Goodman, J., McCulloch G. and Richardson W. (eds.) Social Change in the History of British Education. London: Routledge.
- 2000 Richardson, W. and McCulloch, G. Educational research in historical settings. Milton Keynes: Open University Press
- 1997 Richardson, W. and Stanton, G. (eds.) Qualifications for the future: a study of tripartite and other divisions in post-16 education and training. London: Further Education Development Agency.
- 1993 Richardson, W., Woolhouse, J. and Finegold, D. (eds.) The Reform of Post-16 Education and Training in England and Wales. Longman, Harlow.
- 1993 Richardson, W., Finegold, D. and MacFarland, L. (eds.) Something Borrowed, Something Blue? A Study of the Thatcher Government's Appropriation of American Education and Training Policy. Washington DC: Brookings Institution.
Guest-edited, peer-review journal issues
- 2009 Richardson W., McCulloch, J. and Goodman, J. ‘“Empires overseas” and “empires at home”: post-colonial and trans-national perspectives on social change in the history of education’. Paedagogica Historica, 45(6).
- 2007 Richardson, W. ‘Perspectives on vocational education and training in post-war England’. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 59(3).
- 2002 Richardson, W. ‘Educational Studies in Britain, 1952-2002’. British Journal of Educational Studies 50/1.
Book chapters / entries
- 2004 Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford: Oxford University Press. ‘Bennet, Robert (d. 1617)’, Vol. 5, pp. 112-13; ‘Bilson, Thomas (1546/7-1616)’, Vol. 5, pp. 738-42; ‘Boys, Edward (1599-1667)’, Vol. 7, pp. 118-19; ‘Boys, John (1571-1615)’, Vol. 5, pp. 120-22; ‘Boys, Sir John (1607-1664)’, Vol. 5, pp. 122-23; ‘Goldsborough, Godfrey (1548-1604)’, Vol. 22, pp. 670-71; ‘Parry, Henry (1561-1616)’, Vol. 42, pp. 873-74; ‘Phelippes, Thomas’ (1555-c.1627)’, Vol. 43, pp. 992-94; ‘Richard Topcliffe (1532-1604)’, Vol. 55, pp. 28-30; ‘Watson, Anthony (d. 1605)’, Vol. 57, pp. 601-02.
- 2000 Richardson, W. 'History, education and audience’, in Crook D and Aldrich R (eds.) History of Education for the Twenty-First Century. London: Institute of Education, pp. 17-35.
- 1994 Richardson, W. 'The Role of Employers in Education Reform', in Insights into Education and Training: papers selected by the National Commission on Education. London: Heinemann, 1994., pp. 120-134.
- 1994 Richardson, W. 'School-Business Partnerships', in International Encyclopedia of Education. Oxford: Pergamon Press (2nd edn), Vol. 9, pp. 5,186-5,192.
- 1993 Richardson, W . ‘The Changing Nature of Work: Responses from Education', in Wellington J (ed.) The Work Related Curriculum. Kogan Page: London, pp. 234-54.
- 1992 Richardson W and King D, 'Teachers as Consultants in Industry', in G. Forrest, A. Miller and J. Fiehn (eds.), Industrialists and Teachers: Case Studies and Developments. London: Falmer Press, pp. 137-49.
Refereed journal articles
- 2011 Richardson, W. ‘The weight of history: structures, patterns and legacies of secondary education in the British Isles, c.1200–c.1980’. London Review of Education 9 (2), pp. 153-173.
- 2008 Richardson, W., Freathy, R. ‘A Pilot Project for Exe Libris: the UK History of Education Society On-line Bibliography’. History of Education Researcher, (82, pp. 116-122.
- 2007 Richardson, W. 'In search of the further education of young people in post-war England'. Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 59 (3), pp. 385-418.
- 2007 Richardson, W. 'British historiography of education in international context at the turn of the century, 1996-2006'. History of Education, 36 (4 and 5), pp. 569-93.
- 2007 Richardson, W. ‘Public Policy Fiascos in Education: Reflections on the British examinations crises of 2000-2002 and other episodes since 1975’. Oxford Review of Education, 33 (2), pp. 143-60.
- 2005 Richardson, W. ‘Social change in the history of education: audiences and arenas’. History of Education Researcher, 75, pp. 11-13.
- 2002 Richardson, W. ‘Educational Studies in the United Kingdom, 1940-2002’. British Journal of Educational Studies 50/1, pp. 3-56.
- 1999 Richardson, W. 'Historians and educationists: the history of education as a field of study in post-war England. Part I: 1945-1972'. History of Education, 28 (1), pp. 1-30.
- 1999 Richardson, W. 'Historians and educationists: the history of education as a field of study in post-war England. Part II: 1972-1996'. History of Education, 28 (2), pp. 109-41.
- 1998 Richardson, W. 'Work-based learning for young people: national policy, 1994-1997’. Journal of Vocational Education and Training 50 (2), pp. 225-46.
Research-based, on-line resources
- 2001-06 Richardson, W. and Unwin, L. Understanding policy work in the DfEE. A 15-hour intranet on-line learning programme for civil servants new to policy work in the Department for Education and Employment. (Pages hosted on DfEE intranet)
- 2009- Exe Libris: the UK History of Education Society’s Online Bibliography. A searchable bibliography of articles published in the leading historical journals founded or edited in the British Isles since 1939, and in selected international journals specialising in the history of education. (Pages hosted on History of Education Society website)
- 2011 Richardson, W. and Sing, S. The impact of practical and ‘vocational’ learning on academically-able young people aged 11–16. London: Edge Foundation, June pp. 66.
- 2010 Richardson, W. and Wiborg, S. English Technical and Vocational education in Historical and Comparative Perspective Considerations for University Technical Colleges. London: Edge Foundation/Baker-Dearing Trust, October pp. 47.
- 2009 Richardson, W. and Haynes, G. Evaluation of the Implementation and Impact of Diplomas: Findings from the 2008 Survey of Higher Education Institutions. London: DCFS. May pp. 38.
- 2009 Richardson, W. Young Undergraduate Entrants to UK Higher Education The Strengthening Relationship between Leading Universities and Independent Schools. Market Harborough, HMC, September pp. 91.
- 2008 Richardson, W. New foundations, enduring values: undergraduate education, research-intensive universities and the government’s reforms of 14-19 education in England. London, 1994 Group, January pp. 75.
- 2001 Richardson, W. Making a Difference in Work-related Learning: a guide and toolkit for assessing the local impact of work-related learning in schools, businesses and not-for-profit organisations. Exeter, University of Exeter, 64 pp.
- 1998 Richardson, W. Young People Development Survey [three reports]. Warwick: Rover Group/BMW, February 53 pp.
- 1997 Richardson, W., Cramphorne, J., Spours, K., Woolhouse, J. and Young M. Learning for the future: final report. Coventry and London: Universities of Warwick and London, October ii + 27 pp.
- 1995 Richardson, w. and Nicholls, J. Aiming for a College Education: the lessons so far. Coventry: University of Warwick, in association with British Petroleum, June ii + 42 pp.
- 1995 Richardson, W., K Spours, K., Woolhouse, J. and Young, M. Learning for the Future: Initial Report. Coventry and London: Universities of Warwick and London, November iv + 85 pp.
- 1995 Richardson, W. School Guidance and Youth Credits in Essex, 1994/95: research report. Coventry: University of Warwick [restricted circulation], July 21 pp.
- 1993 Richardson, W. (ed.) Matching Skills: A Question of Supply and Demand. London: British Telecommunications plc, December, 46 pp. + annexes.
- 1992 Richardson, W. and Finegold, D. TECs and Education: Report to the National Training Task Force. London: Employment Department 25 pp.
- 1992 Richardson, W. The Work Related Teaching and Learning in Schools: Education and Business in Partnership. Coventry: University of Warwick, in association with the Department for Trade and Industry ii + 62 pp.
- 1989 Richardson, W. and Esland, G. 'The Company and Its Context'. In Teachers into Business and Industry, Unit 3, PE 634. Milton Keynes: Open University Press 53 pp.
- 1989 Richardson. W, Lawn. M and Ozga. J, 'Education and Industrial Management'. In Teachers into Business and Industry, Unit 5, PE 634. Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 48 pp.
Grants and contracts
The total value of the research grants and evaluation contracts I was awarded (principal or joint investigator) during 1986-2011 was £5,049,000. Of these, I supervised or oversaw 42 externally-funded projects at Exeter with a gross value of £2,391,000.
Principal research grants and contracts
- 2010-11 Baker-Dearing Foundation: ‘Technical and Vocational education in historical and comparative perspective.
- 2009-10 Edge Foundation: ‘The impact of practical and vocational learning on academically-able young people’ [with G. Haynes, W. Robinson and R. Burden].
- 2009-10 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: ‘The reputation of English further education: understanding the evolution of the sector’.
- 2009 Headmasters and Headmistresses Conference. ‘Reliance of universities on independent school applicants in certain subjects’
- 2008-13 Department for Children, Families and Schools: Evaluation of the implementation and impact of Diplomas [with Haynes J and staff at the National Foundation for Educational Research].
- 2008-09 UK History of Education Society. ‘On-line bibliography’.
- 2007 Department for Education and Skills: research project on ‘Higher education engagement with 14-19 reforms.
- 2007 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: research project on ‘Assessment of performance of teaching and learning assistants [with Morgan D].
- 2007 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: research project on ‘Colleges of further education in their community settings’ [with Freathy R].
- 2004-06 Economic and Social Research Council and History of Education Society (United Kingdom): Research seminar series on ‘Social change in the history of education’ (Grant No. RES-451-26-0169) [with McCulloch J and Goodman J].
- 2004-06 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: research project on ‘The assessment of performance and mastery’ [with Morgan D].
- 2003 Lifelong Learning Foundation: extension to earlier research project on ‘The use of multi-media, ‘drop-in’ learning centres’ [with Rogers T].
- 2002-07 Department for Education and Skills: contract to run an in-house, Masters-level programme of learning on ‘Policy skills’.
- 2002-04 University of Exeter Foundation: research project on ‘Multi-media technologies and adult learning’.
- 2001-03 Sir Halley Stewart Trust / St Luke’s Foundation: ‘Theology Southwest Research Fellowship’.
- 2000 Department for Education and Employment: research project on ‘The Induction Training of DfEE staff new to policy work’.
- 1997-98 Rover Group / BMW: 'Young People Development' research survey.
- 1995-96 University of Sheffield (Research Fund): 'The education of the English since 1750' and 'TECs and education'.
- 1995 University of London: evaluation study of 'The accreditation of work-based learning for teachers and trainers at masters level'.
- 1995 European Union (TEMPUS/PHARE Programme): 'Developing vocational education and training: east-west issues in comparative analysis' [with Griffiths T, Woolhouse J and Huddleston P].
- 1992-96 Department for Education and Employment / National Council for Vocational Qualifications / Banking Information Service / Baring Foundation / BT / Paul Hamlyn Foundation / The Post Office: Learning for the Future: ‘A Study of the options for Modernising the English System of Post-compulsory Education and Training’. [with Spours K, Woolhouse J and Young M].
- 1992-93 Economic and Social Research Council: Research Seminar series - 'Participation in education and training: age group 16-19' (Grant No. A45126400285).
- 1992 National Training Task Force: Research study on 'TECs and education' [with Finegold D].
- 1992 Department of Trade and Industry: research project on 'Work-related teaching and learning in schools'.
- 1992 National Westminster Bank plc: 'Evaluation the Mini-enterprise in Schools project'.
- 1991 Department of Education and Science, Training Agency and SFIA Trust: research project on the education policies of leading British companies [with Finegold D].
- 1990-95 British Petroleum plc: evaluation study of 'The Aiming For a College Education (ACE) programme' [with Woolhouse J and Huddleston P].
- 1990 Nuffield Foundation: National conference on 'US and UK education and training policy in comparative perspective'.
- 1990 Cabinet Office: 'Study on highly qualified manpower in engineering' [with Finegold D and Woolhouse J].
- 1989-93 Training Agency / Employment Department: Warwick Vocational Education and Training Forum: series of national residential research conferences, one day research workshops and seminars [with Finegold D, Keep E and Rainbird H].
- 1988 National Foundation for Educational Research: research project on 'Briefing industry on education: finance and resources'.