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Open Access Joining the big society: am I bothered?

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This contribution takes the form of a reflective essay informed by 15 years of working and undertaking research with young people at risk of social exclusion and non-participation in the post-compulsory education and training system in the UK. In particular, it draws upon our experience of working with young people, youth workers and other adults in the 'Engaging Youth Enquiry' undertaken as part of the Nuffield 14–19 Review. This research challenges two key policy assumptions: raising aspirations will lead to increased educational engagement and attainment and thereby reduced social exclusion; and that an alternative more 'vocational' curriculum will improve young people's life chances. The work indicates a clear need to pay much greater attention to opportunity structures in thinking through policy interventions to support young people's transitions to the labour market.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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