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.
This chapter presents a conceptual analysis of social class, radical education and the role of children’s education in social change. First, it argues that the move towards understanding social inequality through the terminology of ‘disadvantage’ and ‘exclusion’ fundamentally delimits the analysis of social power. In response, this chapter develops a reflexive understanding of social class, which can attend to the inter-related dynamics of gender and race inequality and oppression. Second, bringing together analyses of critical social theory with the social history of radical education, Gerrard sets out a general orientation to mobilising the concept of emancipation for radical education. Finally, drawing upon Gramsci’s notion of counter-hegemony, this chapter considers Nancy Frasers’ conception of counter-publics as a possible means to understand the relationship of children’s education to radical social change.
In 1960–62, a large number of white autochthonous parents in Southall became very concerned that the sudden influx of largely non-Anglophone Indian immigrant children in local schools would hold back their children’s education. It was primarily to placate such fears that ‘dispersal’ (or ‘bussing’) was introduced in areas such as Southall and Bradford, as well as to promote the integration of mostly Asian children. It consisted in sending busloads of immigrant children to predominantly white suburban schools, in an effort to ‘spread the burden’. This form of social engineering went on until the early 1980s. This book, by mobilising local and national archival material as well as interviews with formerly bussed pupils in the 1960s and 1970s, reveals the extent to which dispersal was a flawed policy, mostly because thousands of Asian pupils were faced with racist bullying on the playgrounds of Ealing, Bradford, etc. It also investigates the debate around dispersal and the integration of immigrant children, e.g. by analysing the way some Local Education Authorities (Birmingham, London) refused to introduce bussing. It studies the various forms that dispersal took in the dozen or so LEAs where it operated. Finally, it studies local mobilisations against dispersal by ethnic associations and individuals. It provides an analysis of debates around ‘ghetto schools’, ‘integration’, ‘separation’, ‘segregation’ where quite often the US serves as a cognitive map to make sense of the English situation.
expose the tensions between
the official ethos of the school and the everyday interactions of its
community. (Wilson 2014: 110)
Forms of relational sociology alert us to seeing schools as hubs of
interaction and relationships in which class and race may be seen as
‘positions in social space rather than individual attributes’ (Crossley
2015: 82). However, at the same time, schools can be the site of the
reproduction of classed and racedinequalities. Those children whose
parents, through racialised and classed advantage, have more ability
to get the
provocations that seek to delay negotiations with polemics that do not raise the level of class struggle. Solutions to serious structural problems such as those based on gender and raceinequality need therefore to be agreed upon and made into explicit principles of the organisation as a whole or otherwise abandoned or deferred.
Another aspect of petty-bourgeois opportunism that ignores the class aspects of struggle is technocratic managerialism. With regard to the question of political organisation and cultural revolution, we could refer to the
South, he simply declared, “I rode Jim Crow.”
After his studies at Fisk, Harvard and Berlin, Du Bois became a sociologist. He chose sociology because he wanted to study the causes of raceinequality that had relegated his people to the bottom of the racial hierarchy. But William became a social scientist not merely to understand racism, but also to acquire knowledge that would help him and his people to dismantle it. Early on, he developed an international perspective on the race oppression prevalent in Africa, Asia, the West Indies and
The emergence of the Black Saturday School movement and real and imagined black educational communities
‘Give them pride in their blackness’
In this way, the 1960s and 1970s were characterised by the creation
of a distinct black counter-public within which scholars, activists,
artists, writers and students came to share their analyses and prescriptions for black liberation.25 Incorporating men and women from diverse
cultural and ethnic backgrounds, black activist circles attempted to
develop shared critiques of class and raceinequality in Britain and to
forge cross-cultural networks. For many, such
market economics. Fascists rejected such conclusions. For them the basic
unit was, in the Italian Fascist case, the nation and, for the German
Nazis, the race . Inequality between the peoples of the earth was an
On these premises of inequality and
the necessity and desirability of conflict, a whole moral system was erected
in which the victory of the nation or race was
Blackburn Education Authority (1972–74), Memorandum by Anthony Lester on the Ealing
106 Middlesex County Times (Southall Edition), 12.5.1972.
107 Ealing archives, Nigel Spearing papers, ECRC News, April 1972.
108 Kehinde Andrews, Resisting Racism: Race, Inequality and the Black Supplementary School Movement, Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham Books, 2013.
109 London Metropolitan Archives, Supplementary schools in Ealing,
110 Warmington, Black British Intellectuals, pp. 65–7.
111 David S. Meyer, “Protest and Political Opportunities
government struck a blow for gender equality with the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. In 1964 President Lyndon Johnson launched a ‘War on Poverty’ as part of a goal of creating a ‘Great Society’. Many Republicans went along with these reforms and added their own measures. President Richard Nixon, for example, created the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 and embraced the idea of ‘affirmative action’ to overcome raceinequalities. The Supreme Court not only upheld these liberal policies, it initiated some of its own, including the banning of school prayer