ABSTRACT

This is a book about social justice, neoliberalism and schooling in England. It has become impossible to talk about English schooling, as it has about schooling in many other locations, without mentioning the ways in which powerful discourses from the business world have shaped school governance, leadership, accountability mechanisms, competition and new networks between schools. Efficiency, entrepreneurship, chief executives, audits, market share, value adding and performance indicators are all terms now readily associated with schooling in England. In writing this book we wanted to explore the stories of people working in diverse school settings to make sense of the ways in which they were navigating this terrain. In particular, we were concerned with how they regarded and realised the autonomy associated with a devolved education system, although the extent to which it is a system has been questioned (Gunter, 2012; Lawn, 2013). We were also concerned with how autonomy sat with the increasing levels of external accountabilities and scrutiny that have been associated with this devolution.