The disciplines of economic history and the history of education have drawn closer since the 1960s. This engagement has led to fresh thematic contributions—the role of literacy and education in the Industrial Revolution and industrialization generally, how far its neglect underlay the ‘decline’ of Britain since 1870, the relation of education to the changing labour market for women, the culpability of education in Britain’s poor growth performance 1945–1990. New methodological approaches have also been encouraged, notably in exploring the connection between education and social mobility since the nineteenth century. The most economic‐minded historians have sought to relate education to changes in the quality of labour, productivity and economic growth and rates of return on investment in education. Future developments may include an assessment of the 1960s ‘new’ universities, more regional work on literacy, attention to the area between formal education and the labour market. Differences in approach from the statistically econometric to the archive‐based narrative and assessments of policy both illuminate the subject.