Working in a Survival School documents how global educational policies trickle down and influence school cultures and the lives of educators and educational leaders. The research traces the everyday work and experience of educators within an all-boys Catholic college suffering an unprecedented decline in enrolment numbers. In short, it was a school in ‘survival mode.’

Drawing on Dorothy Smith’s scholarship on Institutional Ethnography, the authors document how the school operated and how its efforts to survive influenced the daily work of educators.Institutional ethnography reveals the school as a bounded space subject to a variety of competing local and translocal forces that are historical, political and economic in nature. Exploring the discursive and material effects of policy on both the work and identities of educators, the authors illustrate how the everyday experience of being an educator is shaped by marketisation and how leaders engage in stratagems to promote the school as a vehicle of educational excellence and quality to lure clientele. Building on existing scholarship in educational policy studies and New Public Management, Working in a Survival School considers how the global marketisation of education systems is experienced in one school fighting to survive. 

This book is of interest to educators, school leader and academics interested in policy enactment.

Introduction. Part I. 1. Neoliberal Schooling in Glo/local contexts 2. Educational Policy in Australia 3. Institutional Ethnography 4. The Research Site – A School in ‘Survival Mode’ Part II 5. Marketising the school: policy, partnerships and culture 6. Leading in a survival school: policy tensions, mixed messages and New Public Management 7. Enacting external and internal policy – the work of teachers in tension 8. Survival and implications for educating boys 9. Reflections and conclusions. Appendix A. Appendix B