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ERIC Number: EJ954863
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0620
A Policy Sociology Reflection on School Reform in England: From the "Third Way" to the "Big Society"
Lingard, Bob; Sellar, Sam
Journal of Educational Administration and History, v44 n1 p43-63 2012
This article presents a policy sociology reflection on Bernard Barker's book, "The Pendulum Swings: Transforming School Reform". The book represents Barker's attempt to intervene in education policy during the lead-up to the 2010 UK general election and is framed by what he imagined might be possible under a new Conservative government. Barker draws inspiration from the Red Tory communitarian position articulated by Phillip Blond. In hindsight, we are less sanguine about these possibilities in the context of the Coalition government and its ongoing response to the ongoing financial crises. Indeed, what has emerged is a rearticulated neo-liberalism in the guise of "Big Society" rhetoric. We agree with Barker's critical deconstruction of the five illusions underpinning New Labour schooling policy, but argue for a broader agenda of redistribution, both in social policy and with respect to schools. Policy needs to recognise and support teachers and good pedagogies, and we also see a pressing need to rethink richer forms of educational accountability. All of this must be located within a politics that pursues a new social imaginary. Nonetheless, we commend Barker's contribution towards post neo-liberal thinking in respect of school policy, specifically in England, but with relevance to other locations and systems. (Contains 89 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)