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Sharon Gewirtz is Professor of Education in the School of Education, Communication and 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 and Public Policy from 2008 to 2012. 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’s research is in the field of policy sociology with a strong focus on issues of equality and social justice. Her work brings together structural, macro-level analyses of regulatory systems and policies with micro-level explorations of how public policy is ‘lived’ by policymakers, public service practitioners and service users.

She has recently embarked 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 per cent 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 a book-length study of professionalism in health and social care, co-authored with Alan Cribb and published by Polity Press in 2015, and funded studies of market forces and parental choice in education 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 coordinator of the Work Placement module on this programme. She also teaches on two of the programme's core modules; Understanding the Social World, and Introduction to Social Theory.

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.

Further details

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