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Children can be 'on the margins' in school in a variety of ways. The presenting issues are often conceptualised as 'school disaffection' and lack of 'participation' in school, although underlying social and economic inequalities are apparent in the groups of young people most affected. Other specific and related issues are complex and include bullying, learning difficulties, cultural difference and school ethos, as well as problems within the home environment. This article can only touch on this myriad of issues. The main point of this article is to compare the debates about school disaffection and lack of participation in school in England and France. It then contrasts the policy response. The article illustrates the similarities in terms of groups of children most likely to be viewed as disaffected or lacking in participation, but highlights differences in emphasis in ideas about the source of the problem and in some specific aspects of the policy response. Central to these differences is the role of schools and teachers in each country, as well as the nature of and expectations about citizenship.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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