Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Carl came to King's in May 2017, after completing his PhD examining the politics of children's services reform at Durham University. He is a member of the research team for the ESRC funded project investigating the effectiveness of inter-agency working between schools and children’s services in relation to safeguarding and child protection. Prior to his PhD research, he worked in a variety of policy roles in education and children's services at three different London local authorities.

Carl is also working on a book titled ‘The Politics of Children’s Services Reform: Re-examining Two Decades of Policy Change (1997-2020)’. The books’ key themes will include:

  • The party politics of children’s services reform
  • The impact of serious case reviews and public inquiries on policy
  • The influence of the social work profession and NGOs on policy
  • The re-organisation of local children’s services
Papers and publications include:

Carl Purcell (2016) 'The Politics of Policy-Making: Children's Services Reform (1997-2015). PhD thesis available at:

Carl Purcell (2014) ‘The Politics of Social Policy Reform: The Role of the Labour Treasury in the Development of Children’s Social Services Reform (1997-2010).’ Social Policy Association Conference, Sheffield: July 2014.

Carl Purcell (2013) ‘Why Parties and Policies Matter and Networks Don’t: A Case Study of the Children’s Services Policy Process.’ Policy and Politics Conference, Bristol: September 2013

Carl Purcell and Danny S. L. Chow (2011) ‘The Reorganization of Children’s Social Services in England. Public Money and Management. Vol.31(6): 403-410

Carl Purcell and Danny S. L. Chow (2010) ‘Instability of Archetypes: The Case of Children’s Services in England.’ European Academy of Management Conference, Rome: May 2010. 

Carl Purcell: ORCID iD | Research Profile at King's