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Migrant Schooling crisis posters

posted on 2020-05-07, 12:03 authored by Indrani LahiriIndrani Lahiri

Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA) Interdisciplinary Research Partnerships Fund Proposal

The ‘migrant children schooling crisis’: examining the intersection between media framing, neoliberalism and schooling (Leicestershire)
The pilot project aims to address tensions identified with the ‘migrant children schooling crisis’ as it is portrayed in the media and the challenges this brings to local authorities and schools who have to place and educate ‘migrant children’. This is an intersectional study between the media framing of neoliberalism, framing of tensions within the education sector and the reality of how local authorities and schools deal with those tensions.

The project investigates this by undertaking a frame analysis of newspapers (2015-2018)​, interviewing local authority advisors, Executive Head of MATS, Chair of Governors, ​school Teachers​ and Head Teachers and is based in Leicestershire.
The project aligns with CURA’s strategic focus on developing interdisciplinary, cross-faculty research partnerships involving education, media and politics. The project has the potential to expand the reach by engaging with psychology looking at building resilience within schools, depending on the findings from this pilot study. The study is aimed at reducing inequalities in society (UNSDG 10) by devising strategies and tools to survive in the age of austerity.

The project examines neoliberal policies and practices embraced in the process of economic and social changes in the UK over the last three years (2010-2018) and the impact on the country’s education system, particularly on the compulsory education of transnational migrant children who relocate from Europe and rest of the world to the UK with their parents. The challenges within the school system are significant given how the education system is entrenched within a neoliberalism political agenda and framing of ‘migrant children’ within a broader discourse of immigrant and Brexit. The ‘common-sense’ (Freire, 1970a; Harvey, 2005) narrative fed by the conceptual apparatus (state and its agencies) although is constructed and shaped by the neoliberal policies, in reality, that does not necessarily always help overcome the cognitive barriers both in relation to practice and reception within the classroom. Evidence (Spencer, 2011) suggests media plays an active role in shaping and reshaping this debate in the public sphere, with hostile articles on ‘migrant children swamping UK schools’ but not accepting diversity as a pillar for development. On the other hand, schools are expected to play a vital role in developing community cohesion. The polarised and politicised media framing, therefore, inhibits certain stereotypes that in the long-run may have a detrimental impact on, not only, teaching and learning within schools, but on enforcing community cohesion.

The project further benefits from the interdisciplinary collaboration with health and

mental health research here at DMU


Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)


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