How Schools ‘Do’ PREVENT:Investigating the Enactment of the PREVENT Duty in Secondary Schools in England

Lewis, James (2021) How Schools ‘Do’ PREVENT:Investigating the Enactment of the PREVENT Duty in Secondary Schools in England. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This study draws on qualitative interviews with academics, local PREVENT practitioners, and educators to explore how the PREVENT Duty has been enacted in secondary schools in England. Adopting a novel multi-disciplinary approach that integrates Michel Foucault’s work on governmentality; Ball, Maguire and Braun’s work on policy enactment; and Priestley, Biesta and Robinson’s work on teacher agency, it argues that the local delivery of PREVENT is marked by ‘constrained creativity’ (Ball, Maguire & Braun, 2012). In doing so, it argues that local practitioners and educators have some agency to shape PREVENT work to the specific contexts in which they work, but that this agency is somewhat constrained by the demands of policy, and by the broader policy discourses of radicalisation and safeguarding that frame their everyday engagement with the strategy. Through this analysis, this thesis contributes to a growing body of scholarship that has injected much-needed empirical research into an academic literature around PREVENT that has traditionally been marked by a relative absence of empirical studies. It also attempts to bridge an epistemological gap that has emerged in that literature by presenting a more holistic analysis than currently exists of how the twin forces of agency and control intersect to shape PREVENT work in specific contexts. By making this original empirical and theoretical contribution, this thesis illustrates how multi-disciplinary approaches can advance existing knowledge around local PREVENT delivery, whilst helping to disrupt what has become an increasingly stale debate around the virtue of the strategy.

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15 Mar 2021 09:45
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 03:10