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Title: Government education reform, 2010-15 : 'supply-side/demand-side'
Author: Honour, Malcolm Scott
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 1138
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis reviews the shifts in education policy under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat government between 2010 and 2015; analysing selected policies to articulate dominant themes in recent policy-making. It illustrates how the Coalition was heavily influenced by neoliberal ideas. These dominant themes emphasise the role of the free market, the individual as consumer and the state as a regulator as opposed to provider. The focus is on how ideas of demand-side and supply-side are promoted through an analysis of chosen policies. The opening chapters give the historical and political backdrop of Coalition education policy since 1988, while subsequent chapters explore the field of policy-making in education under the recent Coalition. Using Stephen Ball’s Policy Cycle and Sandra Taylor’s framework for policy as an analytical tools, the implications of new academies and free schools are examined, alongside the impact of pupil premium. It draws on two case studies: the ARK academy chain and the New Schools Network. Three documents were analysed: House of Commons Education Committee Academies and free schools: Government Response to the Committee's Fourth Report of Session 2014–15 21 January 2015; Unleashing greatness: getting the best form an academised system (Academies Commission, January, 2013); Chain Effects, 2015 The impact of academy chains on low-income students (Sutton Trust, 2015). Data from the documents was categorised in a thematic way and allocated to three major themes namely: marketization, managerialism and standards. The second part of the thesis examines these policies in the context of practice and the context of policy outcomes. The findings showed clear indications of deficiencies and weaknesses in the current policies and practices around the role of academy chains and free schools. These changes have resulted in major shifts in the structure of schools in England but without achieving distinctive outcomes compared with mainstream schools. From there, it moves to look at how professionals can make a conscious choice to replace the language of neoliberalism with the language of local interchange. Finally, a number of recommendations are made linked to supply-side and demand-side reform. These include: increasing the focus on the most disadvantaged pupils; the inspection of academy chains; judging schools on a broader range of outcome measures; and, further research to see if the aspirations of communities and individuals is realised through these school-based markets. Hopefully, this study provides a valuable review of the processes and times when significant transformations in education policy were being initiated.
Supervisor: Reynolds, David ; Kelly, Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available