Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


Sharon Gewirtz is Professor of Education in the School of Education, Communication & Society at King’s College London where she also co-directs the Centre for Public Policy Research.

She was Head of School from 2012 to 2017 and Director of Research for the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy from 2008 to 2012. She was elected as a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences in 2019 and served as a sub-panel member representing Education in the UK Research Excellence Framework 2021 (REF).

Before taking up her current post in 2001, Sharon worked as a Lecturer in Social Policy at the Open University (from 1997-2001) and as a researcher in education policy at the Open University (1988-1989), Newcastle University (1989-1991) and King’s College London (1991-1997).

Sharon has a BA in Politics and Modern History from the University of Manchester (1987) and a PhD in the Sociology of Education from King’s College London (1998).

She serves on the editorial advisory boards of the British Journal of Sociology of Education, the European Education Research Journal and the Journal of Education Policy.


Sharon research is in the sociology of education and education policy. Her work, which has a particular focus on issues of equality and social justice, brings together structural analyses of regulatory systems and policies with micro-level explorations of how these systems and policies are lived and experienced.

She is currently working on a collaborative five-year ESRC funded project that is investigating how England's vocational education and training system can better support the school-to-work transitions of the 50% of young people who do not go to university.

Sharon’s previous research has explored how public service accountability reforms have been transforming the value climates, material conditions and social relations of professional work, and the possibilities for, and barriers to, the enactment of professionalism posed by these transformations. This work has included studies of professionalism in health and social care and the changing culture and values of schooling and higher education in the context of managerial reform.


Sharon is Deputy Director of the BA Social Sciences and teaches on three of the programme's core modules:

  • Understanding the Social World,
  • Introduction to Social Theory and Power,
  • Inequality and Social Change.

Sharon also contributes to teaching on the MA Education, Policy and Society.

PhD supervision

Sharon supervises students undertaking theoretical and empirical work on a range of topics in the sociology of education and education policy. These coalesce around the broad themes of equality and social justice, policy processes and effects, the politics of accountability and organisational values and ethics.

Her current students and topics are:

  • Freya Aquarone: Putting democracy at the heart of further and higher education: Principles, practices, and future possibilities.
  • Joyce Uerpairojkit: Policy processes and the disengagement of teachers in Thailand's education system.
  • Peter Burgess: Exploring the political ideas and involvement of a group of young Muslim Londoners.
  • Fiona McLauchlan: Care experience and HE choices: How does care experience influence HE decision-making for care experienced young people?
  • Alice Weavers: Young People as Policy Actors: An Exploration of their Position and Involvement in Post-16 Vocational Education and Training Policy.
  • Rose Veitch: Coaching in-service subject-specialist teachers to develop the embedding of subject-specific literacies in post-16 education.
  • Roné McFarlane: School governing bodies and the State: Contesting power in South African schools.

Further details

For further details please see Sharon's  Research Staff Profile.