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From schools to Higher Education – neoliberal agendas and implications for autonomy

Hammersley-Fletcher, Linda and Qualter, Anne (2009) From schools to Higher Education – neoliberal agendas and implications for autonomy. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 41 (4). pp. 363-375. ISSN 1478-7431

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Abstract

Neoliberal agendas have acted to limit the agency of groups and of individuals through both the imposition of boundaries and through setting up rigorous systems of accountability which together act to codify behaviours. Such systems do not so much remove freedom as influence conceptions about the alternatives available. In this article we outline the English educational policy context and the pressures placed upon first primary schools and then Higher Education establishments, considering the extent to which accountability and an emphasis on the needs of the individual impact on leadership behaviours in schools and upon academic freedoms in Higher Education. Boundaries to individual or group agency are explored drawing together lessons about the limits on professionals in these two situations.

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