Governing by Inspection
This three-year research project, funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) compares the use of school inspection as a form of governing of education in the three systems of Sweden, Scotland and England, in the context of current changes in inspection practices in Europe.
The project investigates the tensions between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ governance revealed by analysis of inspection policies and processes. By this we mean tensions between controlling and regulating through technical means like performance data and the rules followed by inspectors in their school assessments, in contrast with using expert knowledge, judgement and persuasion as part of self-regulation. We are mapping the interrelationships of inspection at different system levels and across Sweden, Scotland and England, with a focus on transnational policy learning. We also map inspection processes within local authorities/municipalities and between local policy spaces and schools.
The UK research group is headed by Prof. Jenny Ozga, Oxford University, and the Swedish group by Prof. Christina Segerholm, Mid Sweden University. The UK project members are: Dr. Linda Croxford, Dr. Sotiria Grek and Prof. Martin Lawn at Centre for Educational Sociology (CES) at Edinburgh University, along with Prof. John Clarke at the Open University. The Swedish team include Dr. Agneta Hult, Dr. Joakim Lindgren, Prof. Ingrid Nilsson and Dr. Linda Rönnberg, Umeå University.