Challenging the logic behind government policies for school completion

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te Riele, Katarina (kitty) ORCID: 0000-0002-8826-1701 (2012) Challenging the logic behind government policies for school completion. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 44 (3). pp. 237-252. ISSN 0022-0620 (print) 1478-7431 (online)


This paper investigates a suite of policies that comprise the National Partnership Agreement between federal, state and territory governments in Australia that are ostensibly aimed at improving the educational attainment levels of young Australians. It specifically explores the policy terrain of educational targets that have been arrived at by Australian governments and associated policies, using a critical policy ethnography approach. It first traces out the historical development of populist policies such as this, demonstrating how attainment targets affect the lives of young people from the most challenging backgrounds. The second, ethnographic component of this paper provides some powerful insights into what is missing from the policy although of central importance to the existential lives of the young Australians targeted by such policy reform initiatives. This paper reveals how both school and societal circumstances create barriers to the capacity of these young people to meet policy demands.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1080/00220620.2012.683394
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1605 Policy and Administration
Historical > SEO Classification > 9305 Education and Training Systems
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Keywords ResPubID25706, school completion policy, educational attainment targets, early school leavers, poverty, disadvantage, education policy, Australia, young people, secondary schooling
Citations in Scopus 7 - View on Scopus
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