Following brief careers in accountancy, warehouse packing and pension administration, a primary PGCE in Cardiff was followed by a decade teaching in a variety of inner London primary schools. During this period Keith completed a part-time MA in the History of Education at the Institute of Education. The postgraduate experience combined with his working-class childhood in north Liverpool, began to ‘open his eyes critically’ to the inequality in our education system. Keith entered higher education in 2003 as a part-time tutor, then as an Edge Hill project worker contributing to the delivery of New Labour’s workforce re-modelling agenda. Working closely with schools and local authorities stimulated an interest in whether emerging para-professional roles were contributing to the dis-aggregation of the teachers’ role. Keith returned to the Institute of Education in 2006 to study for a PhD. His background and experience led to a focus on the notion of community education as a challenge to inequality and led him to identify parallels with previous challenges to the professional identity of teachers. Keith remains interested in the question of whether genuine partnerships between schools and working-class families can be built in order to achieve a more democratic, and equitable education system. Most recently he has been leading a project that explores whether mathematics homework could be used to bring parents and schools closer together for the benefit of children.
Keith’s research interests include 1960s and 1970s educational history in England, School workforce reform, Family-School democratic Partnerships and Equity in education.