Francesca Peruzzo, Stephen J Ball, Emiliano Grimaldi,
Peopling the crowded education state: Heterarchical spaces, EdTech markets and new modes of governing during the COVID-19 pandemic, International Journal of Educational Research, Volume 114, 2022
In this paper, we examine a set of complexly related education policy issues that concern changes to the form and technologies of the state, and changing modalities of government and processes of policy and service delivery, and concomitantly, the re-agenting of education policy within extensive but exclusive policy networks. We also explore the role of the state in creating opportunities for business and social purpose organisations within the delivery and management of state education in response to the ambitions of EdTech (Education Technology) companies seeking to sell their products within the state system. The time is that of COVID-19 and lockdown (2020-2021) and the case is the English Oak National Academy (ONA) – a national platform for remote teaching and learning resources that was conceived and created in England in April 2020, with funding from government and various philanthropists, and designed and run by a team of third sector and business policy entrepreneurs. Alongside and in relation to the ONA we consider a series of UK government policy papers on EdTech, interrogate the membership of the EdTech Leadership Group (ELG) and of the EdTech Advisory Forum.