Home–school agreements: explaining the growth of ‘juridification’ and contractualism in schools

Gibson, H (2013) 'Home–school agreements: explaining the growth of ‘juridification’ and contractualism in schools.' Oxford Review of Education, 39 (6). pp. 780-796. ISSN 1465-3915

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2013.857651


Since 1998 all maintained schools, academies and city technology colleges in England and Wales have been required to publish a home–school agreement. This documents the school’s responsibilities and the obligations of parents, and itemises the behaviour expected of pupils. Most of the parties sign it, from as young as four, although there is no legal obligation to do so. Interview evidence would suggest, however, that the agreement is not only asymmetrically constructed but can be read as part of a broader and worrying shift in cultural practice that augments law-based or ‘juridified’ forms of social management. It also suffers from deficits more commonly associated with contract theory insofar as it makes similar assumptions about human nature that misjudge and undervalue the qualities of moral obligation and trust. The paper argues that this creates problems for schools functionally dependent upon social integration through shared values and consensus formation.

Item Type: Article

First published online 06 November 2013.

Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2013.857651
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2015 17:39
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:39
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/5769
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