A new equity deal for schools : a case study of policymaking in Queensland, Australia

Singh, Parlo & Taylor, Sandra (2007) A new equity deal for schools : a case study of policymaking in Queensland, Australia. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 28(3), pp. 301-331.

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In this paper we draw on concepts from policy sociology to analyse the new equity deal for schools in Queensland, Australia. We examine this ‘new deal’ through an analysis of the language of ‘inclusion’ and ‘educational risk’ in key policy documents associated with a major reform of public education in Queensland. In addition, we analyse the interview talk of key policy actors involved in policy framing, carriage and monitoring. We contextualize our concerns about equity issues in terms of the global information revolution. As Castells (2000) has noted globalism has increased rather than reduced social inequality. Good quality accessible education plays a role in challenging the inequalities produced by global informationalism. In Education Queensland, equity is still on the agenda, but in radically new neo-liberal economic ways. The focus is individualistic – each individual needs to be tracked because they are potentially ‘at-risk’ of ‘school failure’. Identification of ‘at-risk’ students has been devolved to the level of the school and district and intervention strategies have to be devised at the local level. Stories of success are then to be shared/networked with other schools. We suggest that while ‘target group equity’ strategies were limited in terms of addressing issues of social exclusion and inequity in the new millennium, the new deal on equity, a market-individualistic approach is an inadequate alternative.

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6 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 9968
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The author-version of this article will be available 18 months after publication.
For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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Keywords: globalisation, education policy, policy implementation, equity
DOI: 10.1080/01425690701252176
ISSN: 1465-3346
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Educational Administration Management and Leadership (130304)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Sociology of Education (160809)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Taylor and Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in British Journal of Sociology of Education; 28(3) pp 301-331
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:35

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