Neoliberal freedoms, privatisation and the future of physical education

2015-03-05T10:01:31Z (GMT) by John Evans Brian Davies
Focussing on the ideological aspects of privatisation, this paper explores ways in which ‘freedom’ has been activated discursively to justify actions involving changes to both the structure and the content of formal education in the UK. Empirically, the paper will analyse examples in England of UK Government ‘new provider’ rhetoric relating to ‘Academies’ in order to address both the claims and the counterclaims made by governments, educational producers and others for the privatisation of education and physical education (PE) within it. The paper suggests that such changes may have significant implications not only for teachers of PE, but also the educational entitlements of pupils and specifically, their opportunities to enjoy a liberal, comprehensive, high-quality PE. Privatisation may also consolidate rather than help erode and eradicate existing social hierarchies and associated distributions of educational social and physical capital.