Complicity and contestation in the gentrifying urban primary school

21st Nov 2017

Complicity and contestation in the gentrifying urban primary school

A new paper by Ayo Mansaray is now available online



The transformation of primary schools in gentrifying localities has sometimes been referred to as a form of ‘class colonisation’. This article draws on ethnographic research with teachers, teaching assistants and parents in two inner-London primary schools to explore the largely unexamined role of school leaders (headteachers) in mediating gentrification processes within urban schools. It argues that institutional history, contexts of headship and leadership style all play an important role in negotiating and recontextualising middle-class mobilisation and power to re-shape primary schools. Headteachers’ relationship to gentrification is therefore not simply one of complicity, but often of contestation and conflict. This article therefore challenges understandings of gentrification as a hegemonic process, and contributes to a more nuanced picture of the educational consequences of gentrification, particularly the institutional realities and experiences of urban social change.


You can access and read the full article here


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