The article addresses the position of anthropology in new educational contexts, considering anthropology in education and the anthropological study of education. While some transatlantic comparisons are drawn, the emphasis is on developments within the U.K. These are treated historically, using the Royal Anthropological Institute's experience in working for an anthropological presence in pre-university education from the 1980s to the present as an extended case-study. The work done by the RAI's Education Committee to design and introduce a new GCE A-level in anthropology, culminating in its successful accreditation by the national regulator, is recounted in the style of 'rich ethnography'. A case is made for the potential of academic associations to create the alliances across sectors that are needed in this context; and conclusions are tentatively drawn regarding the implications of these initiatives for the future of the discipline and its public engagement.