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In Conversation with… Anna Vignoles, BERA 2023 Awards Ceremony and AGM

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BERA offers over £80,000 of awards and opportunities annually. This event will feature our first awards ceremony highlighting some of those winners and their work, as well as the achievements and successes of the academic research community. 

We will also hear from the BERA Committee Chairs who will update on the year of BERA activities and finances.

This will be followed by our ‘In Conversation with…’ lecture. This year we are delighted that Professor Anna Vignoles, Director of the Leverhulme Trust, will be joining us.

This event is free for BERA Members to attend.

The AGM agenda and papers can be found at the bottom of this page. Should you have any queries about these, please contact 

13:30 Registration, tea and coffee
14:00 AGM and year in review
Vivienne Baumfield, Nick Johnson, Gerry Czerniawski, Sean Hayes, Diana Burton, Ros McLellan, Mhairi Beaton
14:45 Tea and coffee
15:00 Awards ceremony
Presented by Gerry Czerniawski (chair of BERA Engagement Committee) and Vivienne Baumfield (BERA President) 
A celebration of all the award winners 2022/2023. The following below will be formally announced on the day

  • BERA Annual Conference – ECR Presentation Award
  • BERA Doctoral Thesis Award
  • BERA Masters Dissertation Award
  • BERA 2023 Educational Research Book of the Year
  • BERA Academic Citizen of the Year
  • BERA Equality in Education Award
15:50 BERA John Nisbet Fellowship
Named in honour of our first President, this award recognises individuals who exemplify BERA’s commitment to encouraging educational research and its application for the improvement of practice and public benefit.
Presented by Vivienne Baumfield
16:00 In Conversation with… Anna Vignoles:
Improving the educational outcomes of poor students: a tale of contradictions
Over the long term, the U.K. has markedly increased the education participation rate of students from poorer households. Lower income students are staying in education longer and achieving better outcomes. Yet there is more work still to be done to narrow the gap in outcomes between richer and poorer students, which remains stark. Many of the barriers to doing this, and indeed the solutions, are not obvious. Schools make far less difference to pupil outcomes than one might think, yet successive governments have focused very heavily on school reform as the potential solution. Accountability systems can very easily hurt the very students they are designed to protect. Additional resources don’t always produce better outcomes for all students. High tuition fees are not the biggest barrier facing poor students in terms of getting into university. Even when lower income students do get a university degree, it is not enough to level the playing field with their richer peers when it comes to labour market outcomes. The literature is full of such contrary findings but we do now understand far better how we might both improve achievement and narrow the socio economic gap in education outcomes.
17:00 Drinks reception
18:00 Close of event


In Conversation with...

Profile picture of Anna Vignoles
Anna Vignoles, Professor

Director at The Leverhulme Trust

Anna was appointed Director of the Leverhulme Trust in 2021. She previously held professorships at the University of Cambridge and UCL Institute of Education and was a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics. Anna’s research has...


Profile picture of Vivienne Baumfield
Vivienne Baumfield, Professor

Professor of Professional Learning at University of Exeter

Vivienne Baumfield is Professor of Professional Learning in the Graduate School of Education and co-leader of the Centre for Research in Professional Learning. She is interested in the interaction of research, policy and practice when...

Profile picture of Nick Johnson
Nick Johnson, Mr

Chief Executive at British Educational Research Association

Nick has been the Chief Executive Officer at BERA since April 2012. He has a considerable background of management and advising on strategic direction in organisations concerned with public policy. Between 2004-7, he was the Director of Policy...

Profile picture of Gerry Czerniawski
Gerry Czerniawski, Professor

Professor of Education/Research Degrees Leader at University of East London

Gerry Czerniawski runs the Professional Doctorate in Education at UEL and teaches on Initial Teacher Education (ITE) courses. In addition to his role as a researcher, author and teacher educator he is the Lead Editor of the BERA Blog and a...

Sean Hayes, Mr

Education Consultant and Educational Researcher (Retired) at University of Durham

Sean Hayes is a longstanding senior local government manager and team leader as well as being an educational researcher, data analyst and statistician. Up until recently, he managed a large team of more than 20 data analysts and researchers in...

Profile picture of Diana Burton
Diana Burton, Professor

Professor of Education at University of Wolverhampton

Diana Burton is an established academic with extensive University leadership experience. She held senior leadership posts in 3 institutions, including HOD at MMU, Dean of Education at LJMU and later Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research & External...

Profile picture of Ros McLellan
Ros McLellan, Dr

Associate Professor at University of Cambridge

Ros McLellan taught psychology and mathematics in the secondary schooling sector for a number of years before joining the Faculty. Her background is in psychology and she is a graduate member of the British Psychology Society. She has always been...

Profile picture of Mhairi Beaton
Mhairi Beaton, Professor

Professor at Leeds Beckett University

Mhairi Beaton is Professor 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 Highland Region in the north of Scotland....

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In Conversation with…Anna Vignoles

On November 8, 2023 Professor Anna Vignoles, the recipient of this year's John Nisbet Award, took part in a lively and stimulating conversation with BERA President, Vivienne Baumfield. The full...

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