Immersive funded CPD: Sickness and social reform in the Victorian and Edwardian period

New funded online CPD for Key Stages 2-5

Published: 8th February 2024

Mini Teacher Fellowship: Sickness, Social Reform and the Victorian and Edwardian Post Office

We are delighted to announce a funded CPD programme in partnership with the Wellcome Trust Collaborative Research project, Addressing Health: Morbidity and Mortality in the Victorian and Edwardian Post Office. The project explores the relationships between work and health in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries through the lens of thousands of Post Office employees.

By the end of the nineteenth century the Post Office was the largest employer in Britain, outside of the army. It employed men, women and children throughout England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in urban and rural locations and in a range of roles from rural messengers to high powered civil servants. As part of the Civil Service, the Post Office was also at the forefront of providing a range of welfare support for employees including sick pay, medical care and a pension.  The documents produced to record this provision provide unique insights to life and experiences of work and sickness in this nationwide organisation. 

The project’s research has touched on themes of medical knowledge, disability, gender, geographies and histories of sickness, occupational health and the family as well as the role of the state in managing public health and employment reform in the period. The wide social, political and economic coverage provides curriculum links to local and post-1066 units at Key Stage 2, local and ideas, political power, industry and empire: Britain, 1745-1901 units at Key Stage 3, medical history at Key Stage 4 and links to topics covering 19th century reform at A-level. Join us on this mini-Teacher Fellowship to explore these themes and get closer to understanding what life, work and health was like for different genders, classes and locations in the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Applications for this programme are now closed.

  • Who is leading the programme? 

    The programme will be led by experienced teacher educator Helen Snelson. Participants will work closely with project academics Prof David Green (King’s College London), Prof Nicola Shelton (UCL) and Dr Kathleen McIlvenna (University of Derby) to draw on their professional expertise and develop resources for classroom use. 

    The programme is fully funded by the Wellcome Trust as part of the Public Engagement Enrichment Fund in partnership with the Historical Association.  

  • What is the structure of the programme, and what is expected of me?

    The programme begins on Saturday 20 April with a full day of online lectures and workshops to develop participants’ subject knowledge. Participants will then complete an online course, including online twilight workshops (4.45pm–6.15pm) on Thursday 25 April, Thursday 2 May, Thursday 23 May and Thursday 6 June. Attendance at all the online sessions is essential and active contribution to discussions is expected.  

    As an outcome of the course, participants will develop written resources for the benefit of other teachers. It is expected that they will plan their outcome with the course leader in June–July and work on this over the summer holidays, submitting their draft resource by Friday 30 August. Feedback will be given in early September with final resources to be submitted by the end of October. If participants wish for their outcome resource to be published on the HA website, and provided it is assessed up to standard, they are expected to engage fully with the editorial process until December.  

  • What are the intended outcomes of the programme? 

    • - To enrich and develop teachers' practice by working with a teacher educator and academics working on the latest research and scholarship in this area.
    • - To develop a suite of resources for teachers and pupils (with accompanying notes for use) that use learning and resources from the programme and supplement existing resources.  
    • - To enhance teachers’ knowledge and understanding of the historical period and feel empowered to use this learning in new ways.
    • - To learn about and use a free online resource, the Addressing Health datamapper 
  • Am I eligible to apply? 

    The programme is open to all UK teachers of history between Key Stages 2–5 with a minimum of three years’ experience teaching history (including this academic year). Please note that greater weight will be given to those in state-funded schools. There are approximately 10 places available on the programme.  

    Applicants must ensure that they have approval from their senior leadership team before applying and being accepted onto the programme. You will be asked to supply your headteacher's contact details should we need to contact them for a reference. 

    Successful applicants will need to bemembersof the HA at the time of commencing the programme (either individual or school membership).

    If you do not meet every part of the criteria, please do still submit an application and the panel will consider applications on a case by case basis.


  • What are the application criteria? 

    Essential criteria 

    • - Commitment to enhancing the teaching of this subject in your school
    • - Enthusiasm for your history teaching and developing your subject knowledge
    • - An ability to plan rigorous and engaging learning
    • - An ability to write for an audience of other teachers

    Desirable criteria

    • - A reasonable background and working knowledge of the period
    • - Experience in sharing your work with other teachers
    • - Experience leading CPD or mentoring other teachers 

    If you do not meet every part of the criteria, please do still submit an application and the panel will consider applications on a case by case basis.

  • How do I apply? 

    Application for the programme is online via Google Forms only. Please submit completed application forms along with supporting documents by 12:00 on Tuesday 2 April 2024.  

    Apply for the programme here  

    In addition to asking some personal information and reference details, the application form will ask the following questions: 

    • 1. Tell us why you want to join the programme, what you and your school hope to gain from your involvement, and why you think you are a suitable person to participate in this programme (maximum 2,500 characters, including spaces - approx. 350 words).

    • 2. Outline a series of teaching activities or lessons that you are particularly proud of, reflecting upon how and why this has been a success. If you are unsure about the kind of thing you might choose, you could refer to Teaching History's Triumphs Show articles for inspiration (maximum 4,000 characters, including spaces - approx. 300 words). 

    • 3. Please give us an example of a teaching resource that you have written or worked on, e.g. lesson resource, scheme of work, curriculum map or other planning document. Ideally this would be the resource referred to in Question 2 above, and if possible, should cover an aspect of the programme content.

    Applicants can expect to hear back from the selection panel by the end of March.  


Any further questions?

Please contact Maheema Chanrai at

Recorded webinar: Sickness and the State: Working in the 19th Century Post Office

Find out more in our introductory webinar with the project team.

Can't see the video? Download it here