Extremism and neo-liberal education policy: a contextual critique of the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham schools

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Abstract

This paper offers new insights into the effects of neo-liberal education policies on some Muslim majority schools in Birmingham. It critically reveals how the implementation of neo-liberal education policies, pursued by both Labour and Conservative Governments, has contributed to the failure of some mechanisms of school leadership and governance. The move away from agreed collective public and civil values to individualistic and private values as the guiding principles of public education has produced confusion in role, function and relationships. This is considered within the context in which secular liberal education aims to allow different minorities to flourish and recreate themselves. The paper outlines how the state has entered more fully into the lives of children and families through limitless government regulations and how OFSTED appears open to political interference by government regularly changing the framework for inspectors to suit the latest priority. Accordingly, the judgements of OFSTED have become contestable especially as the framework becomes the means through which every aspect of school life is to be considered, including ‘extremism’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-328
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Volume63
Issue number3
Early online date4 Sept 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • neo-liberal
  • muslim
  • extremism

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