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ERIC Number: EJ818601
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 47
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
Quality and Equality: The Mask of Discursive Conflation in Education Policy Texts
Gillies, Donald
Journal of Education Policy, v23 n6 p685-699 Nov 2008
Two key themes of recent UK education policy texts have been a focus on "quality" in public sector performance, and on "equality" in the form of New Labour's stated commitment to equality of opportunity as a key policy objective. This twin approach can be seen at its most obvious in the concept of "excellence for all". This paper contends that in recent policy texts the vocabularies of quality management discourse and egalitarian discourse have become conflated, serving to mask key issues relating to educational inequality, seen at its most stark in the attainment gap. The paper argues that this has led to a failure to distinguish between the goals of quality management and the ends of egalitarianism. Discursive conflation of this sort risks obscuring the significance of socio-economic context and the limited impact of within-school action. The paper also suggests that the focus on equality in terms of school provision paradoxically risks entrenching social inequalities despite the appearance of egalitarian commitment.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom