Bringing democratic governance into practice: policy enactments responding to neoliberal governance in Spanish public schools

This article explores different ways in which public primary schools sustain democratic governance structures created beyond those mandated by law in Spain. These new institutional designs, while not opposed to policy text requirements of having a governing body with representatives of parents, teachers and public administration, are being carried out against the grain of the hegemonic neoliberal managerial approach. The objective was to observe the different ways that some schools apply other institutional paths to the current governing bodies by aiming at widening decision-making not only to legal representatives but to all agents. Data come from focus groups, in-depth interviews and observations carried out in four public schools during fieldwork lasting two academic years. The findings show that while some schools are broadening current legal governing bodies, others generate ad hoc bodies transforming legal ones into new institutional arrangements ​
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