Ewen Green Memorial Lecture: 'Why schools matter to histories of interwar Britain'

Children in the schoolyard

Hester Barron (University of Sussex)

What were schools for, why did they matter and what do they tell us about society? In this lecture Hester will show how the lived experience of the classroom can illuminate the social history of interwar Britain. Focusing on elementary schools in London – where global, imperial, and national identities competed with local and family interests – she will discuss the growing role that schools played in communities and explore the social relationships that shaped modern Britain, centring schools as key drivers of social change.

Hester Barron was an undergraduate and then postgraduate at Magdalen College Oxford from 1998-2006, where she knew Ewen Green first as a tutor and later as a friend. He died a couple of weeks before her PhD viva, and the book that followed – The 1926 Miners’ Lockout: Meanings of community in the Durham coalfield (2009) – was dedicated to his memory. She is now Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Sussex, and more recent publications include Class of ’37: Voices from working-class girlhood (2021) and The Social World of the School: Education and community in interwar London (2022).

You can book for the lecture here: