With almost daily reports of failings in school management, what can be done to improve educational outcomes for everyone?
Pat Thomson takes on England’s muddled education system, highlighting failings caused by the actions of ministers in successive governments. While corrupt actions are taken by some, it is predominantly the corruption of the system that is at fault. She exposes fraudulent and unethical practices, including the skewing of the curriculum and manipulation of results, and argues for an urgent review, leading to a revitalised education system that has the public good at its heart.
“An invaluable critique of a neo-liberal school system where commitment to the public good has been eroded. The book contains important lessons for other countries where policy agendas of privatization contest long-standing welfare traditions.” Nafsika Alexiadou, Umeå University, Sweden
"A remarkable book of immense contemporary importance and enduring value. Both a rigorous exposure of the endemic corruption of market-led education systems and a compelling affirmation of a ‘socially just public good’ alternative." Michael Fielding, UCL Institute of Education
"This is a book that someone had to write – it is overdue and important. Pat Thomson has done a service in exposing the corruptions, irregularities and greed that are now rife in England’s muddled, incoherent, neoliberal education system. It is a book that will make you angry and sad in equal measure." Stephen J. Ball, Institute of Education, University College London
“In this insightful, highly readable and well-informed analysis, Pat Thomson reveals how repeated organisational restructuring in England’s schools in pursuit of efficiency and effectiveness has crowded out a commitment to the public good and created space for corrupted practices...essential reading for all concerned about the relationship between education and the state.” Paul M Heywood, University of Nottingham
"A well-researched, closely argued and scholarly book, combining theory with vivid contemporary examples, this is a good read that deals with a topic that is extremely timely and relevant." Peter Moss, UCL Institute of Education, University College London
"A mandatory read for all education stakeholders. Thomson forensically analyses how privatisation in the UK facilitates corrupt practices, compromises efficiency and effectiveness, and damages trust in public institutions." Jill Blackmore, Deakin University
“In this probing interrogation, Thomson reveals a schooling system behaving badly and argues instead for systems grounded in integrity and practices that restore trust. Only then can we escape our current education muddle.” Trevor Gale, University of Glasgow
“A vital piece of work. Thomson has undertaken a forensic collection and analysis of a vast array of events, practices, and claims that are corrupt and corrupting of those in the English public system and it is it is beyond shocking to see what is going on. She demonstrates how privatisation works through private practices that have public implications.” Helen Gunter, University of Manchester
"Drawing on research, policies and investigative journalism, Pat Thomson forensically traces multiple forms of corruption in education. As such, she has done all concerned for public education a great service." Bob Lingard, University of Queensland
"A timely and important book. Its powerful critical analysis of many current educational policies and practices reminds us of what needs to be done if education is to be more truly democratic." Michael W. Apple, University of Wisconsin, Madison
'In this timely and engrossing investigation of corruption and corrupted practices within our education systems, Pat Thomson lays bare the inefficiency and ethical costs of market deregulation. A must read!'. Andrew Wilkins, Goldsmiths, University of London
“This scrupulously researched book reveals the muddle of our public education system. It provides numerous examples of how the system has been corrupted and suggests positive ways in which maladministration could be combated”. Peter Mortimore, Former Director, Institute of Education, University of London
Pat Thomson is Professor of Education at the University of Nottingham. She was previously a headteacher and senior public servant in the Australian school system. She has published many books, is an active blogger at patthomson.net and tweets at @ThomsonPat.
A book about corruption in schools
A scandalous schooling muddle
Reforming public infrastructure
Market mentalities and malpractices
The effects of effectiveness
Secrecy, lies and gaming
Rebuilding organisational infrastructure
A public good agenda for change