This chapter will present the stories of such individuals through the emails that they send within policy-making networks. Emailing has become a dominant literacy practice within educational institutions and is a primary form of communication between colleagues. It is also used as a form of pedagogical support. New policies are often constructed and reconstructed through the processes of email communications and we would argue that email as a form of literacy practice has its own sets of particular cultural practices, discourses and etiquette. It is often seen as an informal mode of communication and the language of the email can often be much less formal than the language of ‘hard copy’ documentation. Yet, there are different practices with email writing and these are tied to institutional and social relations of power, positioning and identity. Emails might be seen by the subjects constructing them as personal communications and yet they are highly accessible – they can be forwarded, used as evidence and represent legalistic levels of agreement. The use of emails across different social networks can be democratic and inclusive but they can also be used in exclusive ways, outside of formal meetings and supporting different subjects’ access to social capitals. Emails can be synchronous or asynchronous and they can be sent across oceans, in different time zones and to the colleague in the office next door. Emailing as a social practice is central in these ways to the formation of policy across time and space; it is contextualised and yet can be formulated in virtual spaces. In this chapter, the email messages are
imaginary, however they are based on the everyday concerns and issues currently faced by UK policy-makers across these different educational contexts. The ‘characters’ in the narratives are fictitious, as are the messages, but draw on a range of sources such as literature in the field, policy documents and our own experiences as participants in the policy-making framework.