Biography of our President, Professor Richard Pring
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Richard Pring has for the past four years been leading the Nuffield Review on 14-19 Education and Training for England and Wales - £1 million funding from the Nuffield Foundation. The final report was published as 'Education for All' and launched on 9 June 2009. (The Report/book can be ordered from here.)
In 2003 he retired from being Director of the Oxford University Department of Educational Studies after 14 years, the pride of which was the innovative Internship Scheme of teacher education and the much improved research profile in the Research Assessment Exercises. Prior to that he had been professor of education at the University of Exeter, lecturer in Curriculum Studies at the Institute of education in London and at Goldsmiths College and a teacher in London comprehensive schools.
However, he says he increasingly looks back to the two years as an Assistant Principal at the Ministry of Education in Curzon Street, when, as a member of the Curriculum Study Group, he was involved in the setting up of the Schools Council. It was there that he first met Max Morris, as the Ministry negotiated delicately with the teachers' unions, the representatives of the local authorities and others over the setting up of the Schools Council. That was a model of collaboration and democratisation in educational policy and curriculum practice which has sadly been forgotten but which continues to be an inspiration.
He has rejoined the Labour Party, having resigned over Iraq and academies. He feels strongly that there needs to be a return to greater democratisation of educational decision making at the local level - the return to some sort of local control and responsibility in the face of the creation of independent and differentially funded academies. The termination of local education authorities is something which he believes is to be deeply regretted, and he says it should be a major task of SEA to explore how that might in some way be restored.