Dr Helena Pimlott-Wilson

Ph.D. (Liverpool)

  • School Director of Placements and Study Exchange
  • Reader in Geography

Academic career

  • 2020 onwards: Reader in Geography, Loughborough University
  • 2018-2020: Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University
  • 2015-2018: Lecturer in Human Geography, Loughborough University. 
  • 2012-15: British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Loughborough University. 

Professional responsibilities

  • 2019-2020: Acting Chair, GCYFRG, RGS-IBG.
  • 2018 onwards: Placement and Study Exchange Director, School of Social Sciences and Humanities
  • 2017 onwards: Treasurer, GCYFRG, RGS-IBG. 
  • 2017: Guest editor (with Sarah Marie Hall) Area.

Prizes and awards

  • 2020: Gill Memorial Award, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Dr Pimlott-Wilson’s research focuses on the geographies of education, learning and employment.  Her contributions to social and economic geography have been recognised by the Royal Geographical Society (Gill Memorial Award, 2020).

Helena’s current research spotlights the growing alternative and supplementary education industries.  As Co-I on a Leverhulme Trust funded project, she examines the classed and racialised inequalities rewritten by the burgeoning private tuition industry.  Her research also examines the growth of Forest School in mainstream school settings, examining the contradictions associated with nature-based learning and neoliberal school agenda. In other work, she investigates the school-to-work ambitions and family life aspirations of young people drawn from socio-economically diverse areas. Funded by the British Academy, this work explores the emotion burdens young people anticipate as they endeavour to achieve a successful future in the context of an individualising political milieu of aspiration and economic uncertainty. The research also looks at the combined effects gender ideology, local labour markets and family employment history have on youth transitions, employment aspirations and future outcomes.  

Her research interests also encompass: (i) the reproduction of class privilege through internationally mobility for higher education and work placements for both UK and Kazakh students; (ii) children’s experiences of parental employment and gender roles (iii) how neoliberal education policy is implemented, experienced, accepted and resisted by diverse subjects of education. Focusing on primary education, this research is concerned with the localised implementation of neoliberal policy, the growth of enrichment activities and the interplay between parenting education and local moral geographies of mothering. 

Helena's teaching focuses on social and economic geography, examining the importance of social divisions such as class and gender for education, family life and employment.

Current postgraduate research students

  • Emma Bates “Discerning the perceptions of middle-class, pre-career women towards their careers and work-family balance”
  • Fan Changxin “Forest School in China”.

Recent postgraduate research students

  • Rosie Austin (2020) “Youth Leadership in the Scout Association”
  • Andreas Culora (2018) "The diverse geographies of Housing in Multiple Occupation"
  • Sophie Beer (2018) “Spaces of early education and care: exploring ethos, choice and parental engagement”
  • Holloway, S.L. & Pimlott-Wilson, H. (2021) Solo self-employment, entrepreneurial subjectivity and the security-precarity continuum: Evidence from private tutors in the supplementary education industry Environment and Planning A. https://doi.org/10.1177/0308518X211009237
  • Horton, J., Pimlott-Wilson, H. & Hall, S.M. (Eds.) (2021) Growing up and getting by: Poverty, precarity and the changing nature of childhood and youth.  Bristol, Policy Press.
  • Holloway, S.L. & Pimlott-Wilson, H. (2020) Marketising private tuition: Representations of tutors' competence, entrepreneurial opportunities, and service legitimation in home tutoring business manuals British Educational Research Journal, 46.1: 205–221 (Free access – download here).
  • Hall, S.M., Pimlott-Wilson, H. & Horton, J. (Eds.) (2020) Austerity across Europe: Living, Feeling and Experiencing Economic Crises.  London, Routledge.
  • Pimlott-Wilson, H. and Coates, J. (2019). Rethinking learning?: Challenging and accommodating neoliberal educational agenda in the integration of Forest School into mainstream educational settings.  The Geographical Journal, 185(3): 268-278
  • Holloway, S.L.& Pimlott-Wilson, H. (2018) Reconceptualising play: Balancing childcare, extra-curricular activities and free play in contemporary childhoods. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 43(3): 420-434. (Open access publication – download here
  • Pimlott-Wilson, H. (2017) Individualising the future: the emotional geographies of neoliberal governance in young peoples' aspirations. Area, 49(3): 288-295