Colley, Helen (2012) The impact of austerity policies on the ethics of educational practice. In: School for education futures conference, 21st June 2012, University of Wolverhampton. (Unpublished)

The impact of austerity policies on the ethics of educational practice. This seminar will pose questions about the impact of austerity policies on educational practice and specifically on the 'ethics work' done by practitioners - that is to say, the day-to-day, socially situated practices of ethical decision-making that forms part of their labour. Drawing on research completed in 2010 on professionals supporting young people through school-to-work transitions, and on the theoretical work of social geographer David Harvey, I will analyse the economic processes by which public service work such as education is increasingly driven towards social control rather than care.

As a result, ethics work is being sharply intensified, with often devastating impacts on practitioners' health and professional capacity. Yet my research findings show that there are also possibilities for resistance, though these need to be taken from an individual to a collective level to be effective. The discussion will provide opportunities to explore resonances in other sectors of educational work, future research agendas, and ways of progressing resistance to austerity..

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