Dr Paul Warmington

Dr Paul Warmington

School of Education
Deputy Director of Research
Reader in Education & Social Justice and Deputy Director, Centre for Research in Race & Education

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Paul Warmington is Reader in Education & Social Justice in the School of Education. He has taught and researched for twenty-five years, firstly in FE then in higher education. His research interests include race, class and education; critical theories of race; black education movements, race equality and education policy; widening participation. His most recent book is Black British Intellectuals & Education: multiculturalism’s hidden history (Routledge, 2014). He has published extensively in, e.g.  British Journal of Sociology of Education; Journal of Education Policy; Educational Theory; Ethnic & Racial Studies; Race Ethnicity & Education.


  • 2000 PhD (Education), University of Birmingham
  • 1991 PGCE (Secondary: English and Drama), University of Warwick
  • 1985 BA (Hons) English and European Literature, University of Essex


Paul is currently module leader for:

He has successfully supervised postgraduate/ doctoral students researching:

  • Multi-professional working in children’s services
  • Educational experiences of former prisoners
  • Development of schools’ race equality policies
  • High achieving African-Caribbean pupils
  • HEIs’ widening participation missions
  • Classed biographies of ‘non-traditional’ undergraduates
  • African-Caribbean pupils entering UK education 1950s -1970s

PhD opportunities


Paul’s approach to educational research is located in cultural studies/ sociology of education. His key research interests are in race, education and social justice, drawing, in particular, on critical theories of race. His recent writing focuses on black education movements, black British intellectual production and race equality and education policy. In the wider field of social justice and equity he is interested in intersections between race and class, in widening participation in post-compulsory and higher education and in media coverage of education.

Selected research projects:

Race, Racism & Education: inequality, resilience & reform in policy and practice (funding: Society for Educational Studies)

Race, Education and Intersectionality: getting the balance right – seminar series (funding: Society for Educational Studies)

Documentary Film in Educational Research (funding: British Academy)

Low Rates of Participation in HE (funding: HEFCE)

Other activities

Editorial boards

  • Editorial board - Educational Review
  • Editorial board - Race, Ethnicity and Education
  • Work with community education/ equalities bodes, e.g. Diane Abbott MP’s British Schools and the Black Child Conference; The Drum Arts Centre in Birmingham; London’s Institute of the International Visual Arts gallery; Vital Education Enterprise & Training supplementary schools network, London; BRAP Equalities and Human Rights
  • Member of Runnymede Trust’s Runnymede 360think-tank of academics and educators
  • Writing for national newspapers, e.g. The Guardian, The Voice
  • International activity with, e.g. University of Urbana-Champaign, Illinois; International Colloquium of Black Males in Education; Equity and Inclusion Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • Awards include:  Higher Education Academy Associate (Centre for Sociology Anthropology and Politics); ESRC Fellowship (Meeting of Minds Scheme)
  • Reviewer for ESRC Research Grants and Fellowships; referee papers for high quality academic journals, e.g. British Education Research Journal; Journal of Education Policy; Educational Review; Race, Ethnicity and Education; Journal of Vocational Educationand Training; Mind, Culture and Activity.


Selected publications

Warmington, P. (2015) Dystopian Social Theory and Education, Educational Theory, 65 (in press).

Warmington, P. (2015) The emergence of black British social conservatism, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 38 (7).

Warmington, P. (2014) Agents of critical hope: black British narratives. In V. Bozalek, B. Leibowitz, R. Carolissen & M. Boler (Eds) Discerning Critical Hope in Educational Practices, London: Routledge.

Warmington, P. (2014) Black British Intellectuals: multiculturalism’s hidden history (London: Routledge). Listen to ‘Dr Paul Warmington - Black British Intellectuals (Ep78)’ on Audiobook

Warmington, P (2011) 'A tradition in ceaseless motion': Critical Race Theory and black British intellectual spaces, Race Ethnicity and Education http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2012.638861

Warmington, P (2011) Divisions of labour: activity theory, multi-professional working and intervention research. Journal of Vocational Education and Training http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13636820.2011.561930

Warmington, P. (2009) Taking race out of scare quotes: race-conscious social analysis in an ostensibly post-racial world,Race, Ethnicity and Education, 12 (3) 281-296.

Warmington, P. (2009) From ‘activity’ to ‘labour’: commodification, labour-power and contradiction in Engeström’s activity theory,Critical Social Studies: Outlines,10(2), pp.4-19.

Edwards, A., Daniels, H., Gallagher, T., Leadbetter, J. and Warmington, P. (2009)Improving Interprofessional Collaborations: multi-agency working for children’s wellbeing(London, Routledge) pp. 222,  ISBN 9780415468701

Daniels, H., and Warmington P. (2007) Analysing third generation activity systems: labour-power, subject position and personal transformation, Journal of Workplace LearningVol. 19, No. 6, pp. 377 – 391.

Full publication list for Dr Paul Warmington