One month in…

By Laura Carter

Thanks for taking an interest in our new research project, ‘Secondary Education and Social Change in the UK since 1945’ (SESC). We’ll be using this blog to post news about the project and short written pieces about sources and themes we come across as our research progresses.

Image: front cover of Harold Loukes, Teenage Religion (1961), one of the sociological studies of life in ordinary postwar secondary schools that we have been reading

The SESC project kicked off about one month ago, as a new term and new year got underway in Cambridge. To begin with, we have focused on surveying secondary literature and searching for new source bases. We’ve looked so far at secondary modern schools, independent schools, grammar schools, race and immigration, education in Scotland, and the raising of the school leaving age. We are already thinking of some big questions to take to the archives, including:

  • Can we write about a ‘national’ experience of secondary education in the UK, given local variations and the distinctiveness of Scottish and Northern Irish experiences?
  • How far was the ‘racialization’ of British society experienced in secondary schools in 1970s Britain?
  • When and how did the ‘counter-culture’ emerge in schools?
  • When and why did everyday life in independent schools begin to change in post-1945 Britain?

Watch this space for more news and thoughts from the project team. You can get in touch with us via email on or via Twitter.

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