Covid, schooling and race in England: a case of necropolitics

Chadderton, C (2023) 'Covid, schooling and race in England: a case of necropolitics.' Race, Ethnicity and Education, 26 (1). pp. 112-128. ISSN 1361-3324

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In this paper, I focus on the UK government’s Covid-19 pandemic response to schooling in England with regards to the impact on race inequality, an area which has received comparatively little attention. I review the existing research, drawing on work by academics, think tanks, lobbying organisations and media reports, conducted between spring 2020 and autumn 2021, and argue that this evidence suggests that the UK government’s pandemic response firstly has increased existing racial disadvantage for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) pupils in education, and secondly, it has potentially increased the exposure of BAME households to illness and death. I further argue that not only can education policy in response to Covid be considered to be an example of white supremacy, but it is an example of necropolitics, defined as ‘the power and the capacity [of the state] to dictate who may live and who must die’ (Mbembe 2013, 161). I conclude by making some recommendations for wide-reaching social and educational change.

Item Type: Article

This article was originally published in April 2022.

Keywords: Covid-19 pandemic, necropolitics, racial disadvantage, white supremacy, schools policy
Divisions: School of Education
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Research in Equity, Inclusion and Community (CREIC)
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Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2022 11:31
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2023 01:40
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