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Panoptic performativity and school inspection regimes: Disciplinary mechanisms and life under special measures

Perryman, J; (2006) Panoptic performativity and school inspection regimes: Disciplinary mechanisms and life under special measures. Journal of Education Policy , 21 (2) pp. 147-161. 10.1080/02680930500500138. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper looks at Ofsted and particularly special measures regimes as part of a disciplinary mechanism. It examines issues such as school effectiveness theories, the increasing powers of Ofsted, and life under special measures and links it to performativity, discipline and surveillance using the metaphor of the panopticon. The change in teachers' accountability is traced, along with the rise in the audit culture in teaching, and the increase in the power of Ofsted. The research context is a case study of a school over the period 1999-2003. During this time the school was placed into special measures and provided an opportunity to examine the effects of a key Government policy. The issues researched were Ofsted, special measures and the effects that these had on schools and teachers. The paper argues that a special measures regime is an example of panoptic discipline which I call panoptic performativity. The primary research is echoed by much of the existing research and first hand accounts of Ofsted inspections. I also locate special measures regimes in the context of Lyotard's 'performativity', Foucault's 'normalization', and the school effectiveness literature.

Type: Article
Title: Panoptic performativity and school inspection regimes: Disciplinary mechanisms and life under special measures
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02680930500500138
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10023273
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