The Politics of the Academies Programme: natality and plurality in education policymaking

Helen Gunter, Ruth McGinity (Collaborator)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

599 Downloads (Pure)


Our investigations into the politics of the Academies Programme in England have generated thinking that draws on data about the conversion process from two projects. We engage with an early City Academy that replaced two ‘failing’ schools, and a recent Academy that replaced a ‘successful’ high school. We deploy Hannah Arendt’s political tools of natality and pluralism to illuminate the depoliticisation of educational reform in England. We identify that, while claims are made about innovation and new opportunities, there is little evidence of natality due to the Academies Programme as a conservative and neoliberal restoration project. Integral to this is the urgency of reform based on deferential common sense notions that elite groups know best. The denial of a plurality of options, debates and interest groups in the conversion process is delivered by co-opted educational professionals as reform managers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-314
Number of pages14
JournalResearch Papers in Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Academies Programme
  • academisation
  • education policy
  • Hannah Arendt


Dive into the research topics of 'The Politics of the Academies Programme: natality and plurality in education policymaking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this