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The 'Big Society', Education and Power

Leaton Gray, Sandra; (2013) The 'Big Society', Education and Power. Power and Education , 5 (3) p. 248. 10.2304/power.2013.5.3.248. Green open access


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The United Kingdom Conservative Party's adoption of the Big Society idea with its advocacy of less centralised and more distributed power has provoked discussion about power in education. Most of these discussions have focused on generalities without pinning down either how the power of particular groups of educational stakeholders might change under the reforms proposed or what they mean by power. Accordingly, a detailed examination was carried out of proposed changes for stakeholders' power in the Conservative Party's major policy documents and speeches. A complex set of changes in power was noted. In contrast to the claims that power will be more distributed and less centralised as a result of Big Society policies, it is argued that educational reforms may lead to increasing centralisation of particular sorts of power. This may be of relevance to other countries experimenting with new types of politicised education reform.

Type: Article
Title: The 'Big Society', Education and Power
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2304/power.2013.5.3.248
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.2304/power.2013.5.3.248
Language: English
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471020
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