How Schools Do Policy: Policy Enactments in Secondary Schools, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

How Schools Do Policy

Policy Enactments in Secondary Schools, 1st Edition

By Stephen J Ball, Meg Maguire, Annette Braun


176 pages | 7 B/W Illus.

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Over the last 20 years, international attempts to raise educational standards and improve opportunities for all children have accelerated and proliferated. This has generated a state of constant change and an unrelenting flood of initiatives, changes and reforms that need to be ‘implemented’ by schools. In response to this, a great deal of attention has been given to evaluating ‘how well’ policies are realised in practice – implemented! Less attention has been paid to understanding how schools actually deal with these multiple, and sometimes contradictory, policy demands; creatively working to interpret policy texts and translate these into practices, in real material conditions and varying resources – how they are enacted! Based on a long-term qualitative study of four ‘ordinary’ secondary schools, and working on the interface of theory with data, this book explores how schools enact, rather than implement, policy. It focuses on:

    • contexts of ‘policy work’ in schools;
    • teachers as policy subjects;
    • teachers as policy actors;
    • policy texts, artefacts and events;
    • standards, behaviour and learning policies.

This book offers an original and very grounded analysis of how schools and teachers do policy. It will be of interest to undergraduate and postgraduate students of education, education policy and social policy, as well as school leaders, in the UK and beyond.

Table of Contents

Foreword or Introduction 1. Beyond implementation –Towards a Theory of Policy Enactment 2. Taking Context Seriously 3. Doing Enactment: People, Culture and Policy Work 4. Policy into Practice 5. Whatever happened to… 6. Policy Enactments – In Theory and Practice

About the Authors

Stephen J. Ball is the Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education in the Department of Educational Foundations and Policy Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK.

Meg Maguire is Professor of Sociology of Education in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at King’s College London, UK.

Annette Braun is a Lecturer in Sociology in the Sociology Department of City University, London, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General