Chris Husbands named new IOE director

29 July 2010

Professor Chris Husbands has been appointed Director of the Institute of Education, University of London. He will take up his post when Professor Geoff Whitty retires on 1 January, 2011.

Chris Husbands, 51, has been Professor of Education and Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Pedagogy since joining the Institute in 2007. A former history teacher, his research specialisms are in curriculum and teacher development, and in policy on schools and teaching. He is a board member of the Training and Development Agency for Schools and a member of the National Trust Learning Panel.

Baroness Shephard of Northwold, Chair of the IOE Council, announced the appointment this week. "Chris will be an excellent leader at a time of change in the world of higher education and teacher training. His wide-ranging knowledge of the education system and experience as an adviser to governments and agencies will serve the Institute and its students well, and will also benefit policy-makers", she said.

Before joining the IOE, Professor Husbands was professor of education and Head of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia and Director of the Institute of Education at Warwick University.

He said: "The IOE is uniquely a world leading institute which is also close to the realities of teaching in London schools and colleges, the needs of children and students and some of the major issues facing the modern world.

"The challenges and delights of this job will be in moving the Institute forward from a position of strength in ways that ensure it both continues to meet those needs and capitalises on its world-leading position in what will be an exceptionally challenging context."

Professor Husbands, who directed a national evaluation of Children's Trusts for the then Department for Children Schools and Families, says his heart and his commitment remain in the classroom. "I am passionately dedicated to the quality of children's experiences in schools, and how we support teachers in getting the best out of children," he said.

Professor Husbands has four daughters; his wife and the eldest daughter are both primary teachers.

Professor Geoff Whitty is retiring after a decade during which the Institute has reinforced its position as the UK's leading centre of excellence in education and related aspects of social science and professional practice. A leading scholar in the sociology of education and education policy, Professor Whitty became IOE Director in September 2000.