This paper focuses on one aspect of the work of Education Action Zones (EAZs) that has been neglected by emerging research, namely their efforts to tackle social exclusion and empower a more representative set of parents to become involved in policy-making processes for education in their localities. Data from three EAZs across the country are presented to demonstrate that empowerment of parents through zones is restricted. Instead, the interests of educational professionals, and to a lesser extent those parents who have previously been socially and politically active, predominate across EAZs. The paper claims that the assumptions pervading the discourses of powerful coalitions across EAZs and their discursive competencies are actually presenting a barrier to wider parental empowerment in the form envisaged in policy texts and the rhetoric of ministers.
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2002|