Education, Schooling and Inclusive Practice at a Secondary Free School in England

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This paper reports the experiences of staff, parents, governors and students at a secondary free school in the West Midlands of England in relation to the inclusion of students with special educational needs (SEN). The paper is based on a qualitative research project carried out at a school that opened in 2015, with the explicit aim of examining the extent to which it developed as an inclusive school, particularly for children with SEN. In the paper, we draw on the classic distinction between ‘education’ and ‘schooling’ to identify tensions and overlaps between process and outcome oriented practices and examine the views of different stakeholders on how such practices impact on inclusion. By focusing on the day-to-day practices of the school and linking them to broader notions of schooling and education, we provide a complementary perspective on the current research on free schools, which is overwhelmingly quantitative and focused on admissions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Jan 2020


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