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Publication series

Education and democracy & History of education: BERA Brian Simon Fund research reports

The research presented in this series of reports was funded by a grant from the Brian Simon fellowship fund. Held in trust by BERA, the fund was a gift from the family of Brian Simon, a leading post-war educationalist and former BERA president. Five projects were supported by the fund in 2023–2024 and each has produced a final report published in 2024 to mark BERA’s 50th anniversary year. In the spirit of Brian Simon, the projects are independent, imaginative, scholarly and dedicated to educational advance. They pertain to the topics of education and democracy, and history of education, in line with Brian Simon’s own research interests, and aim to inform society about core educational issues.

The five reports are as follows:

Education and Democracy

  • Land: what is it for & how do we decide? A democratic study of children & their families’ perspectives, Rebekah Ackroyd 
  • Agenda for Citizenship Education (ACE), Lee Jerome & Faiza Hyder

  • Shifting youth environmental activism from the public imagination to community engagement: Implications for education for sustainability in the 21st century, Fengling Tang

History of Education

  • Rehearsals for democracy: Student life in Central and Eastern Europe, 1919–1923, Daniel Laqua & Georgina Brewis

  • Far away from the ivory tower: The impact of university education on disadvantaged people & their communities, Miles Smith, Tracy Hayes, Mark Leather, Katie Major-Smith, Alison Milner & Gil Fewings

2023 Brian Simon Fund Recipients

Profile picture of Daniel Laqua
Daniel Laqua, Dr

Associate Professor of European History at University of Northumbria

Daniel Laqua is Associate Professor of European History at Northumbria University. He has published widely on the history of international movements and organisations, as reflected in articles for periodicals such as The Historical Journal and...

Profile picture of Fengling Tang
Fengling Tang, Dr

Senior Lecturer at University of Roehampton

I am a Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, Centre for Learning, Teaching and Human Development, School of Education, Froebel College, University of Roehampton. I had worked in schools and further education in China and a nursery school in...

Profile picture of Rebekah Ackroyd
Rebekah Ackroyd, Dr

Lecturer in Education at University of Cumbria

Rebekah Ackroyd is the Early Career Researcher Network Regional Rep for the North of England. Rebekah is a lecturer in education at the University of Cumbria working on postgraduate provision. Her PhD research examined how teachers of Religious...

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Miles Smith, Mr

Associate Dean of Education at Plymouth Marjon University

I am Associate Dean of Education and Programme Lead for Primary Education BA (Hons) at Plymouth Marjon University. Having worked in the English Language Teaching sector and Primary sector, I have diverse experience of education in both UK and...

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Lee Jerome, Dr

Professor of Citizenship & Children's Rights Education at Middlesex University

Dr Lee Jerome is Professor of Education at Middlesex University, where he is course leader for the MA Childhood and Education in Diverse Societies. He explores three main themes in his research and writing: citizenship education, children’s...

Content in this series