Sara Delamont was born near Southampton in 1947. She read Social Anthropology at Girton Colleges Cambridge, and did a PhD in Education at Edinburgh. The thesis was an ethnography of ‘St Luke’s’, an elite girls’ school. She lectured in the School of Education at Leicester with Tom Whiteside and Gerry Bernbaum, and was part of the ORACLE project there until 1981. In 1976 Sara moved to Cardiff and has been there ever since.
One of the 100 people to be invited to join BERA as a Founder Member, Sara was the first Woman to be President in 1984. Sent to the inaugural meeting that led to the Academy of Social Sciences to represent BERA, by the then-President, Ted Wragg, she served on the council for many years and was elected as a Fellow in 2000. She was the first woman Dean of Social Sciences in 1984-1986.
As a protest against the 1988 Education Act (which removed tenure from those who were promoted) Sara has never been a Professor. She was the European Associate Editor of Teacher and Teaching Education from 1984-1994, and its editor (with John Fitz, Lesley Pugsley and Chris Taylor) for 2003-2010. She was awarded a DScEcon by Cardiff University in 2007, was given the British Sociological Association’s Lifetime Service Award in 2013, and Cardiff University’s equivalent the same year. Sara did two terms on the ESRC Training and Skills Committee 2006-2010 and was on the RAE and REF sub-panels for Sociology in 2008 and 2014. Most recently she has been elected a Fellow of Learned Society of Wales in 2014.
Her first book, Interaction in the Classroom came out in 1976, and the third edition of Fieldwork in Educational Settings is in press. Since 2003 Sara, and a colleague Neil Stephens, have been doing ethnography of how Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art, is taught in the UK: and yes, that is educational research.