Records of the Education in Human Rights Network

Scope and Content

Minutes of the Education in Human Rights Network with associated papers (emails, correspondence, announcements), 1992-2005; copies of the Human Rights in Education Newsletter, 1991-2004.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Education in Human Rights Network was established in January 1987 to 'enable and encourage communication between people working in a variety of educational settings in promoting an awareness and understanding of human rights', as it was considered that human rights education was receiving little Government and DES support.

The Network acted as a channel for communication between organisations and those people working in education, especially teacher education. Its aims were:

1) To promote an understanding of human rights and responsibilities as fundamental values in a pluralist democracy and for the world community. To encourage knowledge of both the protection of human rights and abuses of human rights in the UK, in Europe and in other areas of the world. To affirm the importance of human rights as basic values in education, at work and in society.

2) To ensure that the spirit and the content of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and other major rights documents are known to teachers and to young people in schools.

3) To help implement in the UK the Recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe 'On teaching and learning about human rights in schools'.

4) To work through education to combat racism and sexism and make an educational contribution to the ending of discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth, age, disability or sexual orientation.

5) To help develop good practice and strategies in education which will further the aims above.

6) To establish and maintain links with projects and networks in Europe and in other countries and to publish a termly bulletin to facilitate this.

The first major project of the Network was to organise the Human Rights Education Forum and Fair to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December 1988. Funding for this was secured from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, whilst the employment of a professional co-ordinator was supported by the European Human Rights Foundation.

Following this, the Network worked hard to influence the work of the National Curriculum Council during the development of the National Curriculum, and it sponsored a major curriculum development programme.

Aside from this work, the Network held an annual summer conference, produced some books on English, History and Foreign Languages in the curriculum. Summer schools followed in the late 1990s. Money secured from Europe also meant that the Network had to formalise and draw up a constitution.

The Network boasted members such as Hugh Starkey, Margherita Rendel and Audrey Osler. Eventually, after long periods of inactivity, the Network came to an end in 2005.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of a reader application form.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Custodial History

The papers in this collection belonged to Suzanne Long who joined the Network a little after its establishment. She became Chair and worked alongside fellow members until its demise. The collection was donated in November 2007.

Related Material

The Institute of Education also holds the personal papers of Margherita Rendel (DC/RL) and the organisational records of the Development Education Association (DC/DEA).