Smyth, John (2010) Speaking back to educational policy: why social inclusion will not work for disadvantaged schools in Australia. Critical Studies in Education, 51 (2). pp. 113-128. ISSN 1750-8487

The Labor government in Australia has recently embarked on an extremely ambitious program of social inclusion for the most marginalized groups in society. Drawing upon the approach of policy scholarship this paper examines some federal government ‘policy texts’ to describe what has occurred and asks questions about what is meant by the social inclusion policy orientation in the context of educational disadvantage. It challenges the efficacy of uncritically following the experience of New Labour in England as the basis for an Australian social inclusion agenda. The paper concludes with the need to include the voices of ‘policy users’, who are supposed to be the beneficiaries, in the construction of more reflexive alternatives.

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