High attaining students, marketisation and the absence of care: everyday experiences in an urban academy

Lewis, Kirstin and Pearce, Sarah. 2022. High attaining students, marketisation and the absence of care: everyday experiences in an urban academy. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 30(2), pp. 261-280. ISSN 1468-1366 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article draws on the work of Nel Noddings to suggest that the current neoliberal, marketised system of education is eroding caring relationships in schools. Data are drawn from a small-scale qualitative study of an ethnically diverse group of high attaining
sixth form students from a successful urban academy. Based on this data, we argue that two fundamental aspects of care, students’ relationships with their teachers and an attention to their personal and social concerns, were neglected because of the overriding focus on examination success to maintain the school’s position in the education marketplace. The article offers detailed evidence from the students’ perspective to support the claim that the marketisation of the education system leads to students being valued only in as far as they bring value to the school. It also suggests that care is one of the main casualties in such a system.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):



Care; Noddings: marketisation; teacher-student relationships; academy

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


30 July 2020Published Online

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Date Deposited:

16 Mar 2021 10:46

Last Modified:

11 Feb 2022 14:05

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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