Over half of England's secondary schools are now academies. The social and cultural outcomes prompted by this neoliberal educational model has received less scrutiny. This book draws on original research based at Dreamfields Academy, to show how the accelerated marketization and centralization of education is reproducing raced, classed and gendered inequalities. Urbanderry is a socially and economically mixed borough where poverty and gentrification coexist. The book sketches out the key features of Dreamfields' ethos before reflecting on the historical trajectories that underpin how education, urban space and formations of race, class and gender are discussed in the present. Academies have faced opposition for their lack of democratic accountability as they can set their own labour conditions, deviate from the national curriculum and operate outside local authority control. The book examines the complex stories underlying Dreamfields' glossy veneer of success and shows how students, teachers and parents navigate the everyday demands of Dreamfields' results-driven conveyor belt. It also examines how hierarchies are being reformulated. The book interrogates the social and cultural dimensions of this gift that seeks to graft more 'suitable' forms of capital onto its students. The focus is on the conditions underlying this gift's exchange with children, parents and teachers, remaining conscious of how value is generated from the power, perspective and relationships that create the initial conditions of possibility for exchange. Dreamfields acts as a symbolic and material response to the supposed failures of comprehensive education and public anxieties over the loss of nationhood and prestige of empire.
: 192; emphasis added). Whether an economic or political condition, a way of life, an affective atmosphere or an existential truth, this precarity indicates that ‘there are no
guarantees that the life one intends can or will be built’ (2011: 192). As schools
are parcelled out for privatisation, education becomes ever more closely tied to
Factories for learning
market demands. Dreamfields’ neoliberaleducation shapes subjects to be more
amenable and flexible to market precarity. Its structures enable students to expect,
adapt and conform to ‘flexible’ or
differences are more intergenerationally persistent in the US than in other OECD countries. The US has the lowest average literacy proficiency score for people whose parents did not attain an upper secondary education. It also has the largest gap in literacy scores between those who have at least one parent with tertiary education and those who have no parents with an upper secondary education (OECD, 2013 , p. 113).
Unfortunately, the impact of neoliberalism on education has undermined Dewey's self-development role. Although neoliberaleducation
results) and supported by modest state-funded maintenance grants, to a consumer choice costing over £9,000 per academic year.
This reality is a direct result of neoliberalization, which transforms all collective goods into matters of individual entrepreneurial risk-taking. Neoliberaleducation is a matter of investing in one’s own future and – so political good sense dictates – should not be paid for by general taxation. But this just captures the conditions that govern entry to post-secondary education. The exit conditions are, arguably, the truer test. While it