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The logic of the marketplace and the ethic of co-operation: a case study of a co-operative school

Dennis, Joanna (2019) The logic of the marketplace and the ethic of co-operation: a case study of a co-operative school. International Journal of Inclusive Education. pp. 1-12. ISSN 1360-3116

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Abstract

Over the previous decade, Co-operative schools have emerged as a feature of, and resistance to, processes of marketisation in the English schools sector. The Co-operative schools project, an education initiative of the UK Co-operative movement, has been positioned as a ‘values-based alternative’ to the controversial academies programme. This paper examines the claim of the Co-operative alternative and questions whether the Co-operative schools project risks reproducing neoliberal values through a reliance on the ideal of the ‘self-improving school’. The discussion focuses on the evolution of one inner-city Co-operative school. Through a close examination of its sociohistorical context, and with attention to the experiences of those involved, this case study explores the realities of a Co-operative school striving to operate within in a competitive system.

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