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Freedom as non-domination, standards and the negotiated curriculumThis article investigates the application of Philip Pettit's concept of freedom as non-domination to the issues of educational standards and the negotiated curriculum. The article will argue that freedom as non-domination (and the connected concept of debating contestations as part of a legitimate democratic state) shines a critical light on governmental practice in England over the past two decades. Joshua Cohen's proposal of an ideal deliberative procedure is offered as a potential mechanism for the facilitation of debating contestations between stakeholders over the curriculum. Cohen places particular importance on the participants being ‘formally and substantively equal’ in the proceedings and being able to ‘recognize one another as having deliberative capacities’. It will be argued that formal and substantive equality between children and responsible adults is highly problematic due to the ‘considerable interference’ (Pettit) teachers and adults have to make in children's lives. However, the article does offer examples of children's deliberative capacities on the issue of the curriculum (in response to Cohen).