Ruth Lupton, Stephanie Thomson
and Polina Obolenskaya
The situation on the eve of the crisis
Throughout this book, 2007 is referred to as the last year of the
‘warm climate’ for social policy that Labour enjoyed. In schools
policy, it also represents a turning point, with Ed Balls taking over as
Secretary of State for Education and beginning to take policy in new
The Labour programme for schools up to 2007 had four key themes.
The main policy emphasis was on pushing up standards of teaching
and learning. National Strategies were
There is an enduring belief amongst some that segregation is worsening and undermining social cohesion, and that this is especially visible in the growing divides between the schools in which our children are educated.
This book uses up-to-date evidence to interrogate some of the controversial claims made by the 2016 Casey Review, providing an analysis of contemporary patterns of ethnic, residential and social segregation, and looking at the ways that these changing geographies interact with each other.
Kirstine Hansen and Anna Vignoles
In 1988, the Education Reform Act for England and Wales strengthened parents’
rights to choose the school their child attended at primary and secondary
school levels. Similar legislation was applied in Northern Ireland. The 1988 Act
was introduced to encourage competition between schools, as they sought to
attract pupils, with the idea that this would lead to higher standards of teaching
and children’s achievement. Despite obvious policy interest in the extent and
consequences of school
What impact have the unprecedented and rapid changes to the structure of education in England had on school governors and policy makers? And what effect has the intensifying media and regulatory focus had on the volunteers who take on the job?
Jacqueline Baxter takes the 2014 ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal, in which it was alleged that governors at 25 Birmingham schools were involved in the “Islamisation” of secular state schools, as a focus point to examine the pressures and challenges in the current system. Informed by her twenty years’ experience as a school governor, she considers both media analysis and policy as well as the implications for the future of a democratic system of education in England.
The COVID-19 pandemic closed schools, but this hiatus provided an opportunity to rethink the fundamental principles of our education system.
In this thought-provoking book, Alice Bradbury discusses how, before the pandemic, the education system assumed ability to be measurable and innate, and how this meritocracy myth reinforced educational inequalities – a central issue during the crisis.
Drawing on a project dealing with ability-grouping practices, Bradbury analyses how the recent educational developments of datafication and neuroscience have revised these ideas about how we classify and label children, and how we can rethink the idea of innate intelligence as we rebuild a post-pandemic schooling system.
Schools in communities
I think the schools are improving. They get better and better each
year, basically. There is much more profile on education than there
was before. Nowadays you see, especially in this area, so many kids
going to university. Well years ago, it would never have happened
in an area like this. (Barbara, East Docks)
Introduction: Why schools matter
Families talk a lot about schools because they play such a dominant
role in family life, and children’s development, enriching the social
life of communities, particularly in low
The processes for allocating places at secondary schools in England are perennially controversial. Providing integrated coverage of the policy, practice and outcomes from 1944 to 2012, this book addresses the issues relevant to school admissions arising from three different approaches adopted in this period: planning via local authorities, quasi-market mechanisms, and random allocation. Each approach is assessed on its own terms, but constitutional and legal analysis is also utilised to reflect on the extent to which each meets expectations and values associated with schooling, especially democratic expectations associated with citizenship.
Repeated failure to identify and pursue specific values for schooling, and hence admissions, can be found to underlie questions regarding the ‘fairness’ of the process, while also limiting the potential utility of judicial responses to legal actions relating to school admissions. The book adopts an interdisciplinary approach which makes it relevant and accessible to a wide readership in education, social policy and socio-legal studies.
At a time when education and school choices are under increasing scrutiny, this topical book considers education more broadly than ever before. The author, an experienced teacher and researcher, highlights what happens when parents discover that an alternative to school education exists and is legal. This under-researched topic highlights the lack of governmental interest in alternative education and also considers the human rights issues, conflation with safeguarding, the relationship of the state to education and parental education choice.
Focusing on the discovery of elective home education (EHE) in England as a case study for new and necessary arguments, the ideas discussed are also relevant internationally. The book considers the global fact of education as not just mainstream schooling, but how the dominance of schooling has affected our ability to conceive of education as diverse and different. This thought-provoking book will appeal to academic, teaching and policy-making audiences.
Religion and belief are not simply the preserve of RE in schools, though they may be most obvious there. They also appear in the requirement of the act of daily worship, as well as in the right to withdraw – a right belonging only to this sphere and to sex education, apparently two areas in need of more than usually sensitive handling. However, religion and belief are implied, and have implications, throughout the whole life of schools. The muddle spills over throughout. A number of spaces complement, supplement, overlap with and even colonise
Religious illiteracy in school
James C. Conroy
This chapter attempts to explore two central concerns in and for
Religious Education (RE) in a liberal democratic society. The first is a
marked decline in functional religious literacy, and the second, that such
functional illiteracy both feeds off and nurtures a kind of pathology in
the practices of RE that militate against the seriousness of claims to the
theological. The discussion here is informed by, but not confined to,
the findings of a major three