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Title: School leadership and the school inspection regime : an examination of policy enactment in a coastal area of deprivation
Author: Colman, Alyson
ISNI:       0000 0004 7661 0091
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The school inspection regime in England and Wales has recently increased its focus on all state schools becoming 'good' or better. Schools deemed by Ofsted to be performing below this standard receive intense scrutiny from the school inspection regime before a subsequent short notice monitoring inspection. Although all schools may receive a short notice inspection, the perceived autonomy afforded to schools that are judged by the school inspection regime to be good or better is in contrast to those which are deemed 'failing' schools and are disciplined through tighter accountability to the inspection regime. This study examines the influence of intense scrutiny from the school inspection regime on school leadership and policy enactment. A coastal area of deprivation provides the setting for a detailed case study of school leadership in a state secondary school and a state primary school - both with recent or ongoing experience of intense scrutiny from the school inspection regime. Interviews were undertaken and the analyses of data and discussion form an understanding of how policy is enacted in relation to the dual responsibility that school leaders negotiate between the local context at Seatown and the school inspection regime. Both Foucault and Benjamin inform the discussions that demonstrate that the school inspection regime forces a privileging of a compliant and consistent enactment of policy - a hyper enactment of policy, that reduces the capacity of school leaders in the primary school to address the significant social context of the school. In this respect, the automaton replaces autonomy. By contrast, there are examples of acts of resistance undertaken by school leaders in the secondary school - school leaders often demonstrating a cynical view of the school inspection regime, and therefore willing to place the social context of the school first. A contribution to the panoptic/post-panoptic debate is offered.
Supervisor: Higham, R. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available