Exley, Sonia

Dr Sonia Exley  


Position held

Assistant Professor


Experience keywords:

education policy; policy networks; policy sociology; pupil segregation between schools; school choice; social deprivation; the changing role of the state in public services; the politics of policy making

Research summary > [Click to expand]

My research focuses on education policy, the politics of policy-making and the politics of school choice.

Sectors and industries to which research relates:

Policy and Regulatory Bodies; Public Administration

Contact Points

LSE phone number:

+44 (0)20 7955 7348

LSE email:




Exley, Sonia (2018) Social administration revisited: traditions of observational fieldwork and their value Social Policy and Administration. ISSN 0144-5596 (In Press)


Exley, Sonia (2016) Education and learning In: Dean, Hartley and Platt, Lucinda, (eds.) Social advantage and disadvantage. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780198737087

Exley, Sonia (2016) Inside and outside the school gates: impacts of poverty on children’s education In: Tucker, Josephine, (ed.) Improving Children’s Life Chances. Child Poverty Action Group. ISBN 9781910715208

Exley, Sonia (2016) ‘Critical friends’: exploring arm’s length actor relationships to local government in education Journal of Education Policy, 31 (6). 742-756. ISSN 0268-0939


Exley, Sonia (2014) Think tanks and policy networks in English education In: Hill, Michael, (ed.) Studying public policy: an international approach. Policy Press, Bristol, UK, 179-190. ISBN 9781447311072

Exley, Sonia and Ball, Stephen J. (2014) Neo-liberalism and English education In: Turner, David and Yolcu, Hüseyin, (eds.) Neo-liberal educational reforms: a critical analysis. Routledge research in education. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415813952

Exley, Sonia (2014) Are quasi-markets in education what the British public wants? Social Policy and Administration, 48 (1). 24-43. ISSN 0144-5596


Exley, Sonia and Suissa, Judith (2013) Private schools, choice and the ethical environment British Journal of Educational Studies, 61 (3). 345-362. ISSN 0007-1005

Exley, Sonia (2013) Making working-class parents think more like middle-class parents: Choice Advisers in English education Journal of Education Policy, 28 (1). 77-94. ISSN 0268-0939


Exley, Sonia (2012) The politics of educational policy making under New Labour: an illustration of shifts in public service governance Policy and Politics, 40 (2). 227-244. ISSN 0305-5736


Exley, Sonia and Ball, Stephen J. (2011) Something old, something new... understanding Conservative education policy In: Bochel, Hugh, (ed.) The Conservative Party and Social Policy. Policy Press, Bristol, 97-118. ISBN 9781847424327

Exley, Sonia and Braun, Annette and Ball, Stephen J. (2011) Global education policy: networks and flows Critical Studies in Education, 52 (3). 213-218. ISSN 1750-8487

Exley, Sonia (2011) People think parents should put their own children first when it comes to schooling decisions – but not without consideration for others British Politics and Policy at LSE (20 Dec 2011) Blog entry

Exley, Sonia (2011) School choice - parental freedom to choose and educational equality In: Park, Alison and Clery, Elizabeth and Curtice, John and Phillips, Miranda and Utting, David, (eds.) British Social Attitudes 2011-2012. British Social Attitudes, 28. NatCen Social Research / Sage, London, UK, 53-76. ISBN 9781446252581


Ball, Stephen J. and Exley, Sonia (2010) Making policy with ‘good ideas’: policy networks and the ‘intellectuals’ of New Labour Journal of Education Policy, 25 (2). 151-169. ISSN 0268-0939


Exley, Sonia (2009) Emerging discourses within the English ‘choice advice’ policy network London Review of Education, 7 (3). 249-260. ISSN 1474-8460

Exley, Sonia (2009) Exploring pupil segregation between specialist and non‐specialist schools Oxford Review of Education, 35 (4). 451-470. ISSN 0305-4985


Smith, George and Exley, Sonia (2006) The influence of overseas examples on DES policy‐making for the school system in England, 1985–1995 Oxford Review of Education, 32 (5). 575-597. ISSN 0305-4985

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