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Brand Advantage, Risk Mitigation, and the Illusion of Democracy: Approaches to School Governance

Hetherington, Janet E and FORRESTER, Gillian (2023) Brand Advantage, Risk Mitigation, and the Illusion of Democracy: Approaches to School Governance. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. ISSN 1741-1440

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Abstract or description

This research explores the relationship between Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) brand objectives, brand advantage and subsequent risk mitigation strategies utilised to position MATs in England in a notional hierarchy. This is exemplified through empirical case-study research: the Co-operative Academies Trust model of school governance; the roles and practices established for participants in decision-making within it, as well as its stated commitment to democracy. Brand objectives, the hive organisation and the reimagined roles of those members of the Local Governing Body, as well as the illusion of democracy, reveal that accountability is cemented upward. Subsequently, parents and community members are secondary to the need to be perceived by the Regional Director and associated power structures as high-status in a hierarchicalised system of MATs. Thus, mitigating risk by control and power of ‘trusted’ individuals and practises which are deemed trustworthy by those who are determining the amenability of scrutiny. A conceptual framework was developed from the analysis of data and this exposes the complex interplay between three competing citizenries namely corporate, democratic and consumer citizenship all of which co-exist interdependently in relation to the notion of trust.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academies, brand advantage, democracy, Multi-Academy Trust (MAT), neoliberalism, new public management (NPM), risk, risk mitigation, school brand, school governance
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Education
Depositing User: Gillian FORRESTER
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2023 15:28
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2023 11:32

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