Julie Foster

Doctoral Researcher

Contact Details 


Blue Coat SchoolCurrent Status

Writing-up, part time

Research Topic

Did education promote social mobility within the working class in Birmingham? A case study of Blue Coat Charity School 1780-1850.

Research Summary

Using documentation from the Bluecoat school in Birmingham from 1780-1881 and national primary source material, this research will aim to examine the impact of education received by pupils at the Bluecoat charity school in Birmingham to ascertain whether it encouraged social mobility.

Previous studies on social mobility have used data from the census records and marriage certificates to demonstrate that working class mobility existed nationally, but there are few studies which use records from individual schools, to explore associations with education at a micro-level.

Statistical analysis will incorporate both quantitative and qualitative techniques and deliberation will be given to measuring difficult characteristics such as the aspiration of the scholar and the parents.

Research Interests

  • History of Education
  • Social mobility
  • The use of quantitative analysis in historical research 

Research Supervisors

Professor Ian Grosvenor and Dr Kevin Myers


Self funded

Conferences, Seminars, Publications

Buttress to the rich - or blessing to the poor? The Birmingham Blue Coat School in the Long Eighteenth CenturyEducation in the Long 18th Century Seminar Series, (2019) Institute of Historical Research

Poster presentation at the History of Education Conference, Winchester, 30 November - 2 December 2012

Poster presentation at the Research Poster Conference, University of Birmingham, 19 June 2012

Did Education make a difference? The impact Education on the outcome of working-class individuals in Birmingham in the 19th century. Presentation at the EERA Histories of Education Summer School 2010, Lisbon (Portugal), 7-10 June 2012.

Did education make a difference? The impact of education on the outcome of working-class individuals in B'ham (19th C). Presentation at the EERA Histories of Education Summer School 2010, Ghent (Belgium), 10-12 June 2010.