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Challenged school – challenged society: Stacking the odds against the poor

Challenged school – challenged society: Stacking the odds against the poor

Parsons, Carl (2013) Challenged school – challenged society: Stacking the odds against the poor. Educational Review, 65 (3). pp. 267-283. ISSN 0013-1911 (Print), 1465-3397 (Online) (doi:

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Using a micro-focus on one School Facing Exceptionally Challenging Circumstances (SFECC), the argument is developed using local, national and international data to show that areas of poverty are made and sustained. The challenged school is a product of a challenged society. With the condition of poverty come a range of difficulties in making educational provision for the children in the neighbourhood and limits to attainment levels reasonably achievable with currently allocated resources. The National Challenge strategy is counter-productive in its ambition to “drive up” standards and politicians and academics are practising a sad dishonesty in scrabbling round the edges with school improvement strategies that marginally affect individual schools. Such foci fail to acknowledge the simple poverty-attainment link. They fail also to note the cumulative experience from birth to school leaving and beyond and the potential multiple intervention points during the early life cycle to make a difference – if there were the will. Reducing levels of poverty in the local population and The Newington Children’s Zone as a form of Total Place project are components of a model which, with sustained, integrated investment across the whole childhood phase, might yield more in terms of social mobility and diminished harm.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: equality/inequality, inclusion/exclusion, policy/politics, schools, social class
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > L Education (General)
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Education > Education Research Group
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:24

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