The dominant market logic in contemporary education produces social inequalities in education, through new mechanisms. To create markets in education, services and resources have to be rationed, so inequality is built in. To motivate parents to buy privatised services, losers have to be created and publicised – this is the function of NAPLAN testing and the MySchool website. In neo-liberal rhetoric, the actual pattern of social inequality is misrepresented, e.g. the idea of ‘pockets of poverty’, while institutional restructuring embeds the new mechanisms. Neoliberalism seeks to close down arenas for debate and create a monopoly for the market perspective; it is important to sustain other agendas.

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