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BERA Conference 2020

19 May 2020 University of Liverpool

19th May 2020

Dear colleagues,

All of us will have spent the past few weeks responding to the implications for our professional and personal lives of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the profound impact it has had on how we live and work. When this current situation was beginning earlier in the year we had hoped that the worst of the storm would have passed by the summer with our lives returning to some kind of normal, and that this year’s BERA Conference could have taken place, albeit perhaps in a slightly different way.

In the current circumstances with little prospect of requirements for social distancing being relaxed for some time we have now regrettably taken the decision to cancel this year’s conference. This is a matter of profound regret as we had our usual range of excellent papers accepted, some fantastic keynote speakers to look forward to and of course the vital opportunity for networking and knowledge exchange that conference provides.

BERA Conference and Events committee considered whether we could try to run a ‘virtual conference’ but have decided that currently we are just not in a position to do this successfully. It seems quite a different matter to run a single webinar as opposed to a conference of 700 papers that would normally attract close to 1,000 delegates. No doubt we have all seen the rapid development of online platforms, and we will watch these as they develop and build such developments into our future planning. BERA staff have already put considerable time into looking at ways of enabling our BERA community to keep in touch with one another at this time. These plans will be announced in the next few weeks as we trial various online ways of engagement and networking and we hope that some of those symposia or papers destined for conference may find an outlet through these new ways of disseminating the work of BERA members.

At the heart of BERA’s mission is to promote collaboration and engagement. Our commitment to these values remains as strong as ever so we will do all that we can to support our members and the wider community in the coming weeks and months.

Please do stay in touch with us as we try to navigate our way through a truly unprecedented period and we hope that you all stay safe and healthy in these challenging times until we can all meet in person once again at the 2021 BERA Conference in Birmingham!

With best wishes,
Mhairi C Beaton
Conference and Events Committee Chair

Key dates

1 June 2020

Early bird deadline for registration

1 June 2020

All presenting authors to be registered

It is a great pleasure to write to once again welcome you to the BERA Annual Conference. Liverpool is known throughout the world as the birthplace of the Beatles and for its football teams but also has a rich historical heritage which stems back to its origin in the thirteenth century. The people of Liverpool pride themselves on their warm welcome to visitors and so we look forward to returning to this vibrant, modern city.

BERA goes from strength to strength. Membership of BERA continues to grow. The range of activities of BERA has never been so rich and wide ranging. The Annual Conference also continues to grow and develop and is a great opportunity to disseminate research and network with like-minded colleagues. The success of BERA conference is a tribute to all involved, particularly the BERA office staff.

We look forward to seeing you in Liverpool.

Dr Mhairi C Beaton
Conference and Events Committee Chair

Conference and Events Committee

Mhairi Beaton, Dr

BERA Conference & Events Chair at Leeds Beckett University

Mhairi Beaton is Senior Lecturer in Special Educational Needs at the Carnegie School of Education, Leeds Beckett University. After completing a Bachelor of Education at University of Edinburgh, Mhairi worked as a primary school teacher in...

Richard Race, Dr

Roehampton University

Dr. Richard Race is Senior Lecturer in Education within the School of Education at Roehampton University. His most recent monograph, Multiculturalism and Education was published by Bloomsbury in 2015. Richard has also edited Advancing...

Megan Crawford, Professor

Coventry University

Megan Crawford has significant experience in HE as a leader and academic at a senior level, and her work is keenly focused on emotion, leadership and the relationships between research and practice in schools and HE. Megan has worked in school,...

Ian Potter

Bay House School

Ian Potter is the Chief Executive of the Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust. The GFM is the first local Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) in Hampshire, United Kingdom. Prior to its formation in 2017, he was the Headteacher of Bay House School during...

Charlotte Vidal-Hall

UCL, Institute of Education

Charlotte Vidal-Hall studied her PhD at UCL, Institute of Education and was an early years and primary teacher for 15 years. She has a long standing interest in the impact of computers in the early years and ways they can be used more effectively...

James Reid, Dr

University of Huddersfield

Jim Reid joined the University in September 2008 and is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies in the Department of Education and Community Studies. Subsequent to social work practice with children and their families and as a social work manager...

Why attend?

For educational researchers the BERA Annual Conference is an important date in their professional year. It provides the opportunity to:

  • network with existing colleagues
  • support new colleagues at the start of their careers
  • establish the beginnings of new collaborations
  • exchange ideas with like-minded colleagues; and sometimes more profitably, with non-like-minded colleagues1
  • make new links with potential publishers or funders
  • learn about research outside your own area and investigate possible connections
  • indulge in discussions of ‘blue sky’ research that reminds you why you are a researcher

Seasoned BERA delegates could probably add several more reasons of their own as to why they return but for most it is about being part of a community of researchers. A community that is dynamic and changes over time; not just in terms of its members but in the way it does things. Participating in a vibrant conference is one way of making sure that you contribute to that change.