This article discusses the historical relationship between educational studies and British teacher education. Following a brief introduction it provides an overview of initial teacher training (ITT) developments since 1952, the launch date of the BJES, before tracing the rise of educational studies and its so-called ‘foundation disciplines’. The fourth section discusses a range of criticisms levelled against the teach-ing of educational studies within ITT programmes. Examples of discon-tent voiced by student teachers, higher education personnel and the New Right are considered in the light of changing attitudes and policies towards British ITT. It is argued that the attack upon the theoretical aspects of educational studies has been more sustained - and has had more impact - in England than in other parts of the UK. The article draws conclusions in respect of education as an academic subject, the current state of the foundation disciplines, the place of educational studies within teacher education programmes and comparative dimensions.