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The tendency in education writing on globalization has been to examine the congruence of educational policies in western societies and the international effects of global governance of education by powerful transnational institutions such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union. The authors tend to identify massive changes in approaches to educational governance, including the establishment of a broadly common policy and management agenda that is characterized by 'new managerialism', devolution, and rigid accountability structures, entrepreneurialism, and school effectiveness, that have been imposed largely as a result of globalization. These measures are often seen as being directly related to the 'hollowing out' of the state, and the emergence of neo-liberalism as the informing ideology of both international capitalism and residual nation-states. There are few studies, however, of the dynamics of educational life and micro-political activities that enable or challenge or bring about the kinds of educational reshaping and renorming that are typically associated with globalization. This study attempts to analyse such micro-shaping, which, through reporting an ethnographic study in a site of educational practice, examines how school managers and teachers dealt with government policy intervention and, in the process, both willingly and unwillingly implemented significant educational change.