On the school beat:police officers based in English schools


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Concerns about youth violence and the radicalisation of pupils have contributed to the deployment of onsite police officers in schools in England. Little is known about the work these officers do. This article firstly outlines the policy background that led to police in schools, and then, with a focus on the schools in London that have onsite officers, data obtained from a Freedom of Information request are combined with school characteristics data to show that officers are more likely to be based in schools with high levels of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. Foucault’s work on surveillance is explored in theorising police presence on school sites. The relevance of Agamben’s State of Exception is examined in relation to the school-to-prison pipeline in the United States. The article highlights the need for more empirical work in schools to research the impact of onsite police.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)593-606
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number5
Early online date3 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Discipline, police in schools, risk in schools, Safer School Partnerships, surveillance, secondary schools
  • police in schools
  • Safer School Partnerships
  • risk in schools
  • secondary schools
  • surveillance
  • Discipline


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