National and international, with interests extending from early childhood education through to adult learning, and spanning the historic to the most contemporary issues, ESJ works to understand the role that education can play in promoting social justice.

The Department is home to a number of research centres and groups

Centre for Higher Education, Equity and Access (CHEEA)

The Centre for Higher Education, Equity and Access (CHEEA) is led by ESJ member, Peter Davies and it is committed to policy and practice which promotes equity, opportunity and achievement in higher education. Examples of their work includes Labour market expectations, relative performance and subject choice.  This research is funded by the Nuffield Foundation to evaluate the effects of providing 15-16 year-old students with information about the differences between earnings of graduates from different subjects. CHEEA member Ann-Marie Bathmaker was awarded a British Academy small grant for a study entitled: ‘Who wants to be an engineer?’ exploring the effects of vocational diversification in English 14-19 secondary schooling on the decision-making and experience of girls and boys from different social class backgrounds.

Centre for Research into Race and Education (CRRE)

The core staff of the newly established Centre for Research into Race and Education (CRRE) are members of ESJ (David Gillborn, Nicola Rollock and Paul Warmington). These colleagues got the Centre off to a great start by winning the Society for Educational Studies (SES) 2013 National Award which is funding a two-year project on Race, Racism and Education: inequality, resilience and reform in policy & practice which will look at how race equality issues have featured in the policy and practice of education in the twenty years since the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Interdisciplinary Research in Histories of Education and Childhood (DOMUS)

DOMUS are a group of academics meet regularly in seminars and business meetings, publish and present together (as independent scholars and as group representatives), organise journal editing and network convening, make national and international project applications. In 2012, Birmingham City Museum and Art Gallery hosted the first ever major exhibition in the city on childhood. The exhibition, entitled Children's lives in Birmingham, focused on the history of childhood in the 18th-21st centuries and was led by the Professor Ian Grosvenor.  


MOSAIC, led by ESJ member, Adrian Blackledge, is a forum for the development of new, interdisciplinary lines of enquiry related to bilingualism/multilingualism, multilingual literacy, bilingual education, second language learning and contemporary discourses about linguistic and cultural diversity. The recognition of the importance of the work carried out by MOSAIC is illustrated by the award of an ESRC-funded Researcher Development Initiative project Researching multilingualism, multilingualism in research practice and the new AHRC funded research Translation and Translanguaging: Investigating Linguistic and Cultural Transformations in Superdiverse Wards in Four UK Cities.