London Review of Education (LRE) is an open-access peer-reviewed journal featuring rigorous, theoretically based research into contemporary education. Based at the UCL Institute of Education in London, the journal reflects the Institute’s broad interests in all types of education in all contexts – local, national, global – and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It is free to write for and free to read.

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Volume 14, Number 3

This issue of the London Review of Education brings together articles that share a concern for equality of opportunity and social justice in very different educational contexts.

Seeking to interrogate misleading reports of poor literacy in the UK’s prison population, Brian Creese examines English and maths levels among prisoners by comparing the mandatory basic skills assessments carried out on prisoners with results of the national Skills for Life survey. He finds surprisingly robust numeracy skills among prisoners, but identifies an urgent need for deep and personalized intervention to address what are indeed poor levels of literacy. From the perspective of self-improving systems, Tony Leach & Andy Crisp say that schools’ research aimed at refining their teaching and learning should be a collaborative venture between staff and students, democratically guided by teachers yet also student-informed to acknowledge and address internal hierarchies. Meanwhile Annette Hayton & Andrew Bengry-Howell explore the development and application of a framework for evaluating and researching widening participation that combines insights from outreach activities with Bourdieusian theories about educational inequalities. Questions of how equality plays out in education authorities are considered by Gillian Parekh & her colleagues as they look at the distribution of academic opportunity in schools across the Toronto District School Board and ask whether equity-focused policies and anti-discrimination interventions imposed by a centralized system are effective in enabling marginalized groups to navigate the school system with greater success. Finally, David Halpin reflects philosophically on the role of nostalgia in education in planning for the future; on how that visceral sense of a better past can invigorate debates such as current questions over who benefits from grammar schools in the UK.

Human rights education is the subject of the two remaining papers. As we witness an acceleration in the politics and language of radicalization, Frank Ubachs suggests that human rights education must engage with students’ new identities if it is to continue in a world where certainties about fundamental freedoms have shifted. Meanwhile, Priscilla Alderson argues that the central focus on embodied human needs and moral desires that are integral to a critical realist interpretation of rights can enable educators to resolve dilemmas involved in rights education.

The issue also features three book reviews:

For all previous issues, please visit the journal’s page on ingentaconnect. You may also like to find out more information about our special issues on our YouTube channel.

Most recent issue

Volume 14, Number 3, November 2016


International human rights, citizenship education, and critical realism
Priscilla Alderson

An assessment of the English and maths skills levels of prisoners in England
Brian Creese

Dancing with eyes wide open: On the role of nostalgia in education
David Halpin

Theory, evaluation, and practice in widening participation: A framework approach to assessing impact
Annette Hayton and Andrew Bengry-Howell

‘Students don’t always tell teachers the truth very often, do they?’ Reflections on the implications when teachers and students collaborate to investigate teaching practice
Tony Leach and Andy Crisp

The Toronto District School Board: A global city school system’s structures, processes, and student outcomes
Gillian Parekh, Joseph Flessa and Harry Smaller

By addressing life trajectories and political violence, human rights education can overcome radicalizing narratives
Frank Ubachs

Book reviews

Miseducation: A history of ignorance-making in America and abroad, edited by A.J. Angulo
Abdulkerim Sen

The Psychology of Democracy, by Fathali M. Moghaddam
Farid Panjwani

Privatisation, Education and Social Justice, edited by Geoffrey Walford
Helen Young

Older issues

Volume 14

Volume 13

Volume 12

Volume 11

Volume 10

Volume 9

Volume 8

Volume 7

Volume 6

Volume 5

Volume 4

Volume 3

Volume 2

Volume 1

Aims and scope

Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute’s broad interests in all types of education in all contexts − local, national, global − and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute’s aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy, and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

Drawing on these strengths, LRE is an eclectic, engaging, often surprising journal that features analysis across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Its articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy, and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field.

LRE welcomes submission of relevant articles and book reviews. Articles should be sent to LRE’s editor, Professor Hugh Starkey and book reviews to Dr Pete Wright. For more details about what types of material to submit, and how to submit them, visit the ‘Call for papers’ and ‘Notes for authors’ tabs on this web page.

ISSN 1474-8479 (online) 

Call for papers

LRE invites you to submit papers on research and analysis related to education in any context.

We especially welcome articles of around 6,000 words that reveal links between research, policy, and practice, and which analyse key themes in education, including public goals and policies, pedagogy, curriculum, organization, resources and technology, and institutional effectiveness. We also consider some other types of content. This might be a research ‘conversation’ between two or more academics, succinct analysis (2,000-3,000 words) of a current issue in education, or a report about ongoing research. Please submit articles to LRE’s editor, Professor Hugh Starkey.

Every issue of LRE features reviews of books on education. Please send your reviews to the book reviews editor, Dr Pete Wright.

Special calls for papers

Lessons learned from professional doctorates, guest edited by Denise Hawkes, Sue Taylor and Sridevi Yerrabati. Publishing spring 2018.

Notes for authors

The London Review of Education is an Open Access journal in which new contributions are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence. This means that authors retain copyright in their own work, but make it available for others to share (copy or redistribute in any medium or format) or adapt for any purpose (even commercially), provided that the author/s of the original work is/are acknowledged. Authors also warrant that any work by third parties that they reproduce within their own work may be shared or adapted in the same way.

The London Review of Education considers all manuscripts on condition that they have not been published already and are not under consideration for publication or in press elsewhere.

Contributions to London Review of Education must report original research and will be subjected to review by referees at the discretion of the Editorial Office.

Manuscripts to be considered for publication should be sent to the journal’s editor, Professor Hugh Starkey.

Books for review should be sent to: Dr Pete Wright, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL. For the correct format, please read our guidance for book review authors before submitting a review.

Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts electronically. Electronic submissions should be sent as email attachments using a standard word processing program. If email submission is not possible, please send an electronic version on disk.

1. General guidelines

Manuscripts should not be more than 6,000 words in length and must be written in good, standard English, using British spelling (use the Oxford Concise Dictionary as an arbiter of preferred spellings). They should also be double-spaced throughout with ample margins, and bear the title of the contribution and name/s of the authors.

The full postal and email address of the author who will check proofs and receive correspondence should be included as well. All pages should be numbered.

An abstract of no more than 100 words in length, a list of up to six keywords and a very brief (c. 60 words) bio-note about the author/s should also be included. Footnotes to the text are strongly discouraged.

2. Style Guidelines

For general style points and for references, please follow the UCL IOE Press Editorial style sheet.

Write clearly and concisely, using arguments that are fully substantiated with well-reasoned analysis and, where appropriate, empirical evidence. All acronyms for national agencies, examinations, etc., should be spelled out the first time they are mentioned. Contributors are asked to take account of the international readership of the London Review of Education by explaining in full the use of terms that might be meaningful only to a particular local or national audience. Authors are also urged to bear in mind that education policy makers and non-education academics will also read the London Review of Education, which means that contributions should be accessible and comprehensible to a wide range of professionals. For all manuscripts, non-discriminatory language is mandatory.

Citations of other work should be limited to those strictly necessary for the argument. Any quotations should be brief, and always accompanied by precise references.

If you have any questions about references or formatting your article, please contact the journal’s Managing Editor, Pat Gordon-Smith.

3. Tables, illustrations, and figures; copyright

LRE welcomes the inclusion of graphs, artwork, photographs, videos and sound files in support of submitted articles. They must be good quality and with full permission to publish in an open access publication.

Authors are responsible for determining the copyright status of illustrations or other material they wish to reproduce in their article and, if necessary, obtaining permission to reproduce it. This applies both to direct reproduction and to ‘derivative reproduction’ (where authors create a new figure or table which derives substantially from a copyrighted source). As noted above, by including such material in their submission, authors warrant that it may be reproduced or adapted under the terms of the CC-BY licence in the same way as their own work, so they must make this requirement clear to those whose permission they are seeking. Please note that short extracts of copyright text (excluding poetry and song lyrics) for the purposes of criticism, discussion, or review may be reproduced without formal permission assuming that the quotation is reproduced accurately and full attribution is given.

Illustrations and figures should be submitted in separate documents and not included in the text of the article, though tables should be included in the text. Figures will not usually be redrawn by the publisher, so they should be submitted in a form that is suitable for publication (not less than 300 dpi resolution). The place at which a table, figure, or illustration is to be inserted in the text should be indicated clearly on the manuscript. Captions should include keys to symbols.

4. Open access and self-archiving

  1. London Review of Education is an open-access journal in which new contributions are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licence. This means that authors retain copyright in their own work, but make it available for others to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon their work, even commercially, as long as credit is given for the original creation. Authors also warrant that any work by third parties reproduced within their own work may be shared or adapted in the same way.
  2. UCL IOE Press makes no charges of any kind for submission to, publication in, or access to London Review of Education. Once published, your article will be online on the ingentaconnect journals platform, where it will be available for anyone to read or download without charge.
  3. Authors may self-archive both preprint and accepted versions of their article at any time provided that, on publication, it is replaced by the final published version.


Hugh Starkey, UCL Institute of Education

Editorial team

Pete Wright (book reviews editor); Pat Gordon-Smith (managing editor); Vincent Carpentier (associate editor); Arthur Chapman (associate editor); Gwyneth Hughes (associate editor); William Locke (associate editor); Tamjid Mujtaba (associate editor); Lynne Rogers (associate editor); Paul Temple (associate editor); Jan Tripney (associate editor)

External advisory board

James Banks, University of Washington, USA; Margaret Carr, University of Waikato, New Zealand; Allan Luke, Queensland University of Technology, Australia; Geetha Nambissan, Jawaharlal University, New Delhi, India; Miguel Pereyra, University of Granada, Spain; Eileen Scanlon, Open University, UK; Juergen Schriewer, Humboldt University, Germany; Harvey Siegel, University of Miami, USA; Jasmine Boon Yee Sim, National Institute of Education, Singapore; John Smyth, University of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; Ken Zeichner, University of Washington, Seattle, USA; Zhou Zuoyu, Beijing Normal University, China

UCL Institute of Education Executive Board

Chris Husbands (Chair), Hugh Starkey (Editor), Gary McCullochStephen BallJulie Dockrell, Alison Fuller

Book reviews and books for review should be addressed to Professor Hugh Starkey, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK. Email: