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Publication Detail
Democratic alternatives in a neoliberal age? Co-operation, governance and schooling
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Woodin T
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Place of publication:
  • Pagination:
    217, 237
  • Chapter number:
  • Editors:
    Allan J,Harwood V,Jørgensen CR
  • ISBN-13:
  • Book title:
    World yearbook of education 2020: schooling, governance and inequalities
  • Series editors:
    Allan J,Seddon T,Steiner-Khamsi G,Verger A
  • Addresses:
    Tom Woodin
    University College London
    EPS, Institute of Education
    20 Bedford Way
    WC1H 0AL
    United Kingdom
Over the last decade, co-operative schools have offered a significant alternative to the dominant model of English education based upon loyalty to co-operative values and principles. The values include self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. The principles relate to the running co-operatives in accountable and transparent ways connecting to the needs of members and the communities in which they are located. In addition, co-operative schools should make provision for the representation of key stakeholder groups in governance structures through a forum representing staff, pupils, parents, communities and, potentially, alumni. This chapter reports on research which evaluates the approaches to governance as well as the drawbacks and limitations in the context of pervasive neoliberalism. Unsurprisingly, actual practice on the ground has been more limited than the aspiration for co-operative and democratic governance. For example, while co-operating with pupils has been successful in some cases, energising parents and communities has proved more problematic. Understanding these contradictions provides wider perspectives on democratising governance and education policy more generally.
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