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ERIC Number: EJ1156226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Oct
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1740-2743
From Dialogue to Governance: A Critical Analysis of the School Completion Programme in the Republic of Ireland 2002 to 2016
Mc Kenna, Declan; Mooney Simmie, Geraldine
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v15 n2 p304-324 Oct 2017
The School Completion Programme (SCP) was first established in Ireland in 2002 with what appeared to resemble a "bottom up" model of support. The programme was based on authentic effort at partnership with schools, parents and relevant agencies through local management committees and enjoyed a fair share of autonomy in how they would best support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The aims of SCP include: retention of young people in the formal education system, improving the quality of participation and educational attainment of targeted children, offering positive supports in primary and secondary schools in countering educational disadvantage. This democratic model of SCP as a local service responding to local need has substantially shifted policy direction in recent years to a more centralised and reductionist approach. The preponderance of macro policy objectives set within an expedient model of economic return have taken preference over a former shared ethos and responsibility for SCP. The radical pedagogy of Freire, McLaren and Hill and Foucault's Politics of Health frame this critical study of SCP policy and clearly demonstrate that the former dialogic, transformative and relational stance has become increasingly difficult to maintain. We chart this cycle of disadvantage through a critical analysis of key SCP policy documents. In keeping with an agenda mapped out by Global, European and Irish austerity economics we show how this particular SCP programme is rendered more bureaucratic and less effective. We conclude by drawing on Freire and Greene to consider Posner's (1998) idea of a curriculum of conscience as a valuable counterweight to contemporary educational reform.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Ireland
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A