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Howard Stevenson

Director of Research and Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, School of Education, University of Nottingham

Howard joined the University of Nottingham as Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in February 2013. Prior to that he was Professor of Education in the Centre for Educational Research and Development at the University of Lincoln (2007-2013) and Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Leicester (2002-2007).

Howard currently works as a consultant and adviser to the Collaborative Learning Initiative in counties in the North and West of Ireland. This is a network of teachers and professional development advisers developing a collaborative, and research-engaged approach to school improvement.

Before becoming a higher education teacher and researcher Howard worked for 15 years teaching in a comprehensive community college in Leicestershire. The school was one of Leicestershire's radical 'Phase 3' community colleges in which statutory and community provision was integrated, and innovative forms of community engagement were developed. Whilst working as a teacher Howard was an active member of his teachers' association and was President of the largest teachers' association in Leicestershire. He also represented Leicestershire teachers as one of their elected members on the Leicestershire Education Authority.

Howard is a member of a number of research-based networks and societies. He is a committee member of the American Educational Research Association Teachers' Work/Teacher Unions Special Interest Group (including past Programme Chair), and he currently chairs the SIG's Best Thesis Award Panel. Howard is also an elected member of BELMAS National Council. He is co-convenor (with Professors Helen Gunter and Pat Thomson) of the BELMAS Critical Educational Policy and Leadership Studies Research Interest Group, and co-convenor (with Professor Bruce Barnett) of the International School Leadership Development Network. This network involves researchers from over 20 countries engaging in a common project and is co-sponsored by BELMAS and UCEA.

Howard is co-editor of Forum: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education, the journal that was originally founded by Professor Brian Simon over 50 years ago. The journal continues to challenge the (re-emerging) orthodoxy of fixed ability thinking and practice, whilst also making the case for the democratic control of education and education as a public good. Howard is an Associate Editor of Professional Development in Education, and (in the dim and distant past) he was editor of Education Today and Tomorrow. He is currently on the editorial board of Education Administration Quarterly, Journal of Educational Administration and History and the International Journal of Education Management.

In addition to published papers and books Howard has presented his research to a range of bodies including the Department for Education and a range of teacher union bodies. He appears in the media regularly, mostly in the educational press, but he has also appeared on radio and TV. Howard blogs (intermittently) at and tweets (erratically) at @hstevenson10.


  • –present
    Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nottingham