How neoliberal policy inhibits partnership-building in the primary phase: a new social movements approach
AbstractThis paper examines the challenges involved in attempting to build collaboration and implement change in a partnership of schools during a period characterised by neoliberal education policy. The partnership was located in a relatively isolated coastal and rural area in the North of England with significant areas of disadvantage and comprised 18 schools, all but two of which provided education for children aged 4-13. Based on research with schools and the local community, the paper explores the difficulties of building consensus for cultural change in schools when neoliberal education policy’s paradoxical dual emphasis on marketisation and neoconservative traditionalism militates against the realities of such coalition-building (Ball, 2001; Bernstein, 2000; Mansell, 2016). It uses new social movement theory to examine the difficulties involved in mobilising schools in a dysfunctional partnership and concludes that, despite its emphasis on school to school support, the forms of neoliberalism and neoconservatism imposed on schools in England magnify the contextual disadvantages that impede the development of effective collaboration.
JournalPower and Education
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