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Poverty in Education Across the UKA Comparative Analysis of Policy and Place$
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Ian Thompson and Gabrielle Ivinson

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447327981

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447327981.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

Poverty and education in England: a school system in crisis

Poverty and education in England: a school system in crisis

(p.115) 5 Poverty and education in England: a school system in crisis
Poverty in Education Across the UK

Ian Thompson

Policy Press

This chapter presents England as the educational outlier in the UK despite the fact that the vast majority of the UK’s pupil population is taught in its schools. England is the only jurisdiction in which the government controls education and the agents of the welfare state, and arguably the one in which a strong neo-liberal commitment to the market dominates. The pronounced neo-liberal stance taken by the Conservative Government blames the so-called ‘underserving poor’, increasingly presented as the ‘non-productive’ groups, for causing the need for welfare provision. Major education policy initiatives in England are often incoherent and distorted by a neoliberal mind-set around performativity, human capital, and social ‘mobility’. At the same time government policy in England often assumes deficit models which blame both those living in poverty and the teachers who teach them rather than providing adequate resources. This chapter draws on research to argue that addressing the inequality gap in England will require a major policy shift despite the fact that it is already a high-profile policy issue.

Keywords:   Neo-liberal education policies, performativity, education and poverty, inequality, deficit ideology

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