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Making race, class and inequalityin the neoliberal academy
Author: Christy Kulz

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.

Remaking middle-class hegemony
Christy Kulz

This chapter examines parents' orientations to the Dreamfields' academy, where middle-class and mostly white students were positioned as a buffer zone against urban chaos. The white middle-class parent occupies an invisible, normative space, while working-class and ethnic-minority parents feel the potential weight of discipline's reformative hand. Many middle-class parents readily compared schools to businesses and positioned the market model as obviously and unproblematically applicable to education. The privileged status accorded to middle-class parents shapes their relationship to discipline, with several suggesting that although Dreamfields seems heavily disciplined, this is more an impression created than a daily reality. The complete lack of resistance to marketised education shows how deeply ingrained neoliberal market logic is in the minds of middle-class parents. Dreamfields reinstates middle-class hegemony as white middle-class parents successfully manipulate the education market to create an 'oasis' in Urbanderry.

in Factories for learning
A ‘well-oiled machine’ to combaturban chaos
Christy Kulz

3 Disciplining Dreamfields Academy: a ‘well-oiled machine’ to combat urban chaos The end product is such that the school is so well disciplined in so many different areas of its operation, including things like the behaviour of the children, that it means that the machine – if that’s what the academy is – works. It’s a well-oiled machine, it’s well serviced, it’s kept up to good operational standards and it’s regularly fixed if it goes wrong. So it’s able to deliver, if you like, its passengers. It can deliver what it’s aim, I mean the train has got an aim to

in Factories for learning
Academies, aspiration and the educationmarket
Christy Kulz

the only way that these children will achieve is if we go the extra mile for them. (Mr Culford, Principal of Dreamfields Academy) This research focuses on Dreamfields Academy,1 a celebrated secondary academy based in the borough of Urbanderry, which is located within the large urban conurbation of Goldport, England. Dreamfields’ ‘structure liberates’ ethos claims to free children from a culture of poverty through discipline and routine. Since Dreamfields opened in 2004, it has become popular with parents, politicians and the media and is continually referenced as

in Factories for learning
Christy Kulz

8 Remaking inequalities in the neoliberal institution Dreamfields Academy 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. It responds to a perceived crisis of authority in urban areas where a racialised and classed cultural disorder is leading young people astray. Culford holds up Dreamfields’ sponsor Andrew Moore and his rags-toriches tale of the working-class boy transformed into self-made millionaire to show that anyone can become anything if

in Factories for learning
Christy Kulz

4 Cohering contradictions and manufacturing belief in Dreamfields’ ‘good empire’ Throughout this lesson I aspire to maintain an inquisitive mind, a calm demeanour and an attuned ear so that in this class, and all classes, I can reach my true potential. (DreamfieldsAcademy reflection) The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone. (poster on a Dreamfields’ classroom wall) At the start of each class students must put their planners on their desks

in Factories for learning