Smyth, John and Robinson, Janean (2015) ‘Give me air not shelter’: critical tales of a policy case of student re-engagement frombeyond school. Journal of Education Policy, 30 (2). pp. 220-236. ISSN 0268-0939

This paper tackles what is arguably one of the most pressing and intractable educational issues confronting western democracies – the disengagement and disconnection from schooling of alarming numbers of young people. The paper looks at the policy response in Victoria, Australia, and through ethnographic interviews with a small number of young people; it finds a significant mismatch between the policy intent of re-engagement programmes, and the experiences of young people themselves. It seems that this is an instance of what might be termed policy deafness, a situation that will likely produce devastating consequences unless corrected.

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