Skip to main content


School of Education Lecture Series - St Luke's Day Lecture: Professor Emerita Helen Gunter (University of Manchester)

Research lecture by a visiting eminent researcher in the field of education reform.

Event details

Claimocracy and education reform

Education reforms to the school system in England have been based on an education reform claimocracy (ERC), or rule by assertion. The claims are made about standards where delivery is secured through a relentless commitment to corporate improvement and effectiveness. Such assertions are formulated and communicated through simplifications, fictions and mimicry, and are made within written and oral policy texts by a range of policy actors from the OECD, to consultancies, to researchers, to ministers and to professionals. In this talk I will examine the claimocracy using the case of school leaders, leading and leadership, where I will present the claimocracy at work and examine the implications for research and practice.
Helen M Gunter is Professor Emerita in The Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester, UK. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, and recipient of the BELMAS Distinguished Service Award 2016. Her research focuses on the political sociology of knowledge production in the field of education policy. Her most recent book is: A Political Sociology of Education Policy (2023, Policy Press).
This in-person event will be streamed online for those unable to attend at the St Luke's Campus.  For University staff and students the online event details will be made available on the SoE Events SharePoint, and external attendees should contact the event organiser. 
Please note change of venue from previously advertised G18 to SC 2.13.