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Open Access 'Because we can': Pluralism and structural reform in education

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This article revisits a major paper published a decade ago by the political scientist Christopher Pollitt about the highly activist approach to the reform of public services taken in England in recent years. In education, the pace has accelerated since that paper appeared.

The weaknesses of the current structures and processes resulting from this reforming zeal are enumerated. A particular focus is placed on the technocratic and market-oriented features of the current context, and their significance in the light of the moral, social, and cultural issues that lie at the heart of schooling. It is argued that analysts of educational governance pay insufficient attention to the distinctive characteristics of the British constitution and their impact on changes in structure and process within education, leading not just to a democratic deficit but also to a paucity of pluralism.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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