Inside the English education lab

Critical qualitative and ethnographic perspectives on the academies experiment

Edited by Christy Kulz, Kirsty Morrin and Ruth McGinity

Inside the English education lab


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4538-3
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: August 2022
  • BIC Category: Social & cultural anthropology, EDUCATION / History, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General, Society & social sciences / General, Secondary Schools, Society & social sciences / Sociology & anthropology, Education, Sociology, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography


Inside the English education lab offers a range of qualitative and ethnographic explorations of the academies programme in England. Drawing on examples from primary and secondary academy institutions, a free school and Multi Academy Trusts, the collection explores how promises of academy policy are often at odds with everyday practice. Data and evidence throughout the collection highlight a multitude of ways in which the academies 'experiment' retrenches rather than reforms inequalities. Methodological insights and innovations are also a central feature of the collection, where authors interrogate what it means to collect and produce data in the current political context.


Foreword - Diane Reay

Introduction: A time and a place: doing critical qualitative and ethnographic work across an academised educational landscape - Christy Kulz, Ruth McGinity and Kirsty Morrin

Part I - 'Privatisation': Positioning policies and publics: academies, governance and agency
1 Academisation and the law of 'attraction': an ethnographic study of relays, connective strategies and regulated participation - Andrew Wilkins
2 When the MAT moves in: implications for legitimacy in terms of governance and local agency - Helen Ryan-Atkin and Harriet Rowley

Part II - 'Practice': Schooling the body and bodies in schooling: practice, strategy and the everyday
3 Free schools, inclusion and social capital of children with special educational needs and disabilities - Clara R. Jørgensen and Julie Allan
4 The great education 'permanent revolution'? Shape-shifting academies and degrees of change (and 'success') - Katie Blood
5 What 'these kids' need: discipline, misrecognition and resistance in an English academy school - Sarah Leaney

Part III - 'Reflexivity': In the contours and on the margins: re-imagining the academy
6 Producing the academy school: Foucault and the study of policy production - Jodie Pennacchia
7 The 'contradictory space' of the entrepreneurial academy: critical ethnography, entrepreneurship education and inequalities - Kirsty Morrin
Conclusion - Embedding an educational settlement: coercion, contestation and localised struggles - Christy Kulz, Kirsty Morrin and Ruth McGinity

Afterword: Polyvalent and incoherent: the academies programme and the English educational apparatus - Stephen J. Ball



Dr Christy Kulz is a postdoctoral fellow at the Technical University Berlin's Institute of Sociology
Dr Kirsty Morrin is a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Liverpool
Dr Ruth McGinity is an assistant professor in Educational Leadership and Policy at the UCL Institute of Education

Inside the English education lab

Edited by Christy Kulz, Kirsty Morrin, Ruth McGinity

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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