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Title: Inspection and performativity : life after special measures
Author: Perryman, Jane
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis tells the story of an English secondary school and its teachers’ experiences of life after the intensive inspection regime of Special Measures. There is a particular focus on the preparation for and experience of a subsequent OfSTED inspection. Developing from my initial interest in what happens to a school once it is released from Special Measures, my key research areas developed into: the experience of inspection; the effect of inspection and performativity on middle and senior managers; and inspection as a mechanism to improve schools in challenging circumstances. The key themes are, therefore, inspection as performance, the experience of inspection as a disciplinary mechanism, and inspection as a vehicle for improvement. I interviewed middle and senior managers in the school over three academic years, following them through life after the school had come out of Special Measures and interviewing them about the preparation, experiences and aftermath of inspection. The school’s unusual trajectory from Fresh Start to Special Measures and beyond meant that it provided an excellent opportunity to focus on the effects of inspection in a post› Special Measures context. Much of the research on schools undergoing inspection seems to be in the primary sector and there is little on the unique experience of Fresh Start schools. I was also able to work as a consultant in the school during the period of the inspection, so experienced it as a participant observer. In the thesis, I examine the effects of inspection on the school and use this to discuss the role of inspection from a Foucauldian perspective. I focus on the experience of living through inspection, the emotional impact on teachers, and the effect that living with an external enemy has on the management of a school. I call the culture of inspection as it is experienced ’panoptic performativity’, which is a phrase located within Foucault’s theories of disciplinary power, discourse and normalisation, Bentham’s panopticon, and Lyotard and Butler’s performativity. I also discuss how the most recent changes to the Inspection Framework will affect schools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available