Ruth Watts is Emeritus Professor of History of Education at the University of Birmingham. Her many publications on the history of education and on gender and women’s history include a number on West Midlands history such as ‘From Lady Teacher to Professional: a case study of some of the first headteachers of girls secondary schools in England’, Educational Management and Administration, 26, No. 4, (Oct.1998): 339-51 based on her three biographies for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) on Alice Cooper, Edith Creak and Margaret Nimmo. Two further ODNB biographies on Dr Mary Sturge and Julia Lloyd are due out in 2013. Other writings on women include chapter 8 in her prize-winning, Women in Science: a Social and Cultural History (2007) and ‘Gender and policy in Birmingham 1902-44’ in Crook David and Gary McCulloch (eds.), History, Politics and Policy-Making (2007).
Other relevant publications include ‘Joseph Priestley and his Influence on Education in Birmingham’ in Malcolm Dick (ed.) Joseph Priestley and Birmingham (2005) and, with Ian Grosvenor, ‘Schooling and education in Birmingham’ in Carl Chinn (ed.) Birmingham: Bibliography of a City (2003). History of Education ‘Eighteenth-century education: discourses and informal agencies’, 37, No. 4 (July 2008), which she edited and introduced with Malcolm Dick, and contributed to, had much on West Midlands history. Ruth is ex-President of the British History of Education Society, an honorary life member of both the International Standing Conference for the History of Education and the History of Education Society, Chair of the Martineau Society and a member of the Women’s History Network.