Core values, education and research: a response to Mark Pike

Bragg, Sara; Allington, Daniel; Simmons, Katy and Jones, Ken (2011). Core values, education and research: a response to Mark Pike. Oxford Review of Education, 37(4) pp. 561–565.



As Stephen Ball and others have argued (e.g. Ball, 2007; Ball et al., 2010), education worldwide is increasingly subject to complex processes of commodification, commercialisation and privatisation. In England, the role of the state is being significantly redefined away from that of educational provider—the position it has occupied since 1870—towards that of funder and monitor of educational services provided by multiple others. The Academies Programme, initiated in 2002 by the New Labour government and now being amended and substantially expanded by the present Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition, exemplifies many of these processes: academies are publicly funded but privately sponsored schools, which operate independently of the Local Education Authority and have some autonomy as regards ethos, curriculum, intake, and staff terms and conditions (NAO, 2007). The controversies surrounding individual academies, and the shift that they represent towards a market in state-funded education, make it imperative that any claims (positive and negative) made by and about such institutions receive rigorous intellectual scrutiny. It is in this spirit that we are responding to the article by Mark Pike, which appeared in the Oxford Review of Education in December 2010.

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