About the School of Education

The original Department of Education was founded in 1896 and became the School of Education in 1947. It is one of the largest research-led schools of education in the UK employing over 100 academic staff who teach more than 2,500 students. It is also home to a number of departments and research centres.

With a population of more than 28,000 students including 4,000 international students from over 150 countries, Birmingham is one of the largest international student communities in the UK. We support International Students by familiarising them with the UK educational system and helping them to develop their academic English.

School of Education ranking

School Strategic Plan 2016 - 2020

Our Vision

Our vision as a world-leading School of Education is to set standards and expectations for other Schools of Education to follow. We will build upon our strengths and expand into areas that will truly distinguish us in terms of leadership, impact, visibility, excellence, and innovation.

Our Mission

Our mission is to advance the academic study of education. We are committed to rigorous academic curiosity, seeking to be a globally recognised repository for, and generator of, knowledge and evidence to actively support and develop socially just, inclusive and inspiring academics and professionals. 

We will fulfil our mission through: 

  • Undertaking outstanding research of national and international significance that is interdisciplinary, theoretically grounded and ethically sound;
  • Offering high-quality research-informed and practice-orientated learning and teaching;
  • Supporting public engagement by shaping educational practices with the impact of our educational and social research;
  • Offering inspiring and supportive programmes to further the development of education professionals at all career stages;
  • Expanding our partnership with the University of Birmingham School to strengthen our leadership of teacher education;
  • Connecting individual and organisational development across our community, thereby assuring the very best opportunities for all learners;
  • Maximising opportunities for widening participation in line with the University's Access and Participation plan.

Research and Scholarship

We believe that research and scholarship are a public good. They have the capacity to transform the lives of members of society, individually and in communities. We endeavour therefore to ensure that educational knowledge coming out of research and scholarship at the University of Birmingham is made available to society. 

To achieve this goal we will: 

  • Advance learning – and extend and deepen the impact of our research - in social justice, inclusion, and character education drawing on critical enquiry as a transformative principle;
  • Provide a thriving research environment which enables staff and students to be active in research and scholarship to achieve the highest standards of scholarly output;
  • Expand our international and interdisciplinary research activities and profile;
  • Maintain and encourage further collaborative research and scholarship activities with local and regional stakeholders including our partner schools;
  • Influence public debate through clearly defined 'pathways to impact' in collaboration with stakeholders nationally and internationally.

Students and Teaching

We will provide an exceptional, challenging and fulfilling student experience founded on excellent programme design, which includes a strong grounding in the core disciplines of philosophy, sociology, history, and psychology of education.  The learning environments, both nationally and internationally, will include first rate guidance and support systems. 

To achieve this goal we will: 

  • Provide our students with access to outstanding teachers, research-led learning and teaching experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth;
  • Listen to our diverse range of student voices and engage with students in a way that is supportive and developmental, including a respect for and a readiness to draw on, the expertise and experiences of our multilingual student body;
  • Continue to improve our national and local student satisfaction rankings;
  • Develop a relevant and forward looking portfolio of teaching programmes which address Internationalisation and globalisation of the curriculum through a repeating cycle of systematic School and Department-led evaluations and curriculum development;
  • Nurture a truly student-centric approach to our student service delivery and teaching support, engaging in comprehensive cycles of monitoring and evaluation in order that planned developments to the curriculum and the broader offer anticipate and address, needs/demands;
  • Champion and promote innovative and relevant Technology Enhanced Learning;
  • Develop new and innovative national and international pathways that seek to develop socially just, inclusive and inspiring scholars and professionals. 

Influence

Partnerships

We will develop and promote partnerships that have impact by ensuring that they are of outstanding quality and result in clear evidence of sustainable improvement for all stakeholders. 

To achieve this goal we will:

  • Develop and sustain partnerships of the highest quality as strategically and academically central to our work;
  • Ensure our partnerships are strategic, values informed, financially sound, academically valid and sustainable;
  • Be clear that we meet partners’ needs by building sustainable partnerships across the full range of education, commercial and civic contexts and organisations;
  • Develop our ‘partnerships for learning’ by being innovative in the ways we use our qualifications as frameworks to support CPD activities

International

We will develop and support an expanding global community working towards inclusion and social justice through education. 

To achieve this goal we will:

  • Identify international regions and countries to build education systems, provision and partnerships in ways which inculcate our shared values and links;
  • Develop an international curriculum that is research informed and exposes students and staff to multiple views of the world;
  • Create opportunities for collaborative learning that utilize the strengths of an increasingly global community of students and academics.

Resources

Staff

We will develop a staff team dedicated and committed to delivering excellence in education in order to inform policy and improve professional practice through advancing knowledge and understanding. 

To achieve this goal we will:

  • Attract, appoint, develop, reward and retain academic staff of the highest international calibre;
  • Invest in professional development for staff to improve practice and promote excellence;
  • Plan for sustainable staff transitions within the University and also across our community and partners, by supporting colleagues in growing their capacities and talents in ways that will allow them to contribute to the School as their careers develop;
  • Provide highest quality support for the academic endeavours of the School through a committed and engaged professional services team.

Leadership and Management

We will operate a robust as well as collaborative governance and leadership culture and structure that draws on senior staff (academic and professional services) to provide appropriate leadership and management across the School. 

To achieve this goal we will:

  • Strengthen the School’s identity and internal structures;
  • Clarify responsibilities and reinforce accountabilities by placing importance on dispersed leadership and accountability;
  • Maintain a financial regime which ensures proper accountability and cost-effective operation;
  • Ensure alignment of our policies and procedures with those of the College and University.

Study here 

Undergraduate Study

The School of Education offers a variety of Undergraduate Programmes including some with joint honours options. The European Educational Exchange Programme allows students to study at selected European institutions and the International Exchange Programme allows students to study at one of a number of worldwide institutions through our International Office.

Postgraduate Study

The School of Education is an Outstanding Provider of Teacher Training for Primary and Secondary Education, as accredited by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) and offers Teacher Training for both Primary and Secondary Education

The School also offers a wide variety of Masters and Professional Development Programmes which are ideal for teachers and other professionals who wish to study towards higher qualifications or obtain mandatory qualifications in a broad range of educational fields, which are linked to the research interests of members of staff. It provides specialist training and expertise in many areas of educational practice and policy, including: Autism; Bilingualism in Education; Inclusion and Special Educational Needs; International Studies in Education; Management of Special Education in Developing Countries; Multisensory Impairment; and TESOL. 

There are also wide and varied opportunities for students to undertake Research Programmes that will support the growth of research skills and build on subject knowledge.

Facilities

The School of Education is located at the heart of the campus and provides students with access to a wide range of facilities including well-equipped classrooms, a student common room, computer facilities and its own café. 

More information

Find out more about all our latest teaching and research news in the School Brochure (PDF)