23 SES 14 D, Priority Education Policies in Europe: Can education compensate for society?
Priority education policies in Europe and the US experienced their golden age in the 1960s and 1970s. The consolidation of modern Welfare States in the post-war period (Esping-Andersen, 1990; 1996) generated expectations towards the capacity of public intervention to correct for market failures and to compensate for social inequalities. The Coleman report in 1966 (Coleman et al., 1966) alerted about the failure of education as mechanism for social mobility by evidencing that the differences in academic achievement among different social groups remained large despite significant increases in public funding and a notable equality in the distribution of educational resources (Demeuse et al., 2012). The Coleman report in the US or the Plowden report in the UK invited policy makers to undertake positive action to compensate for the educational needs of the most socially disadvantaged students and claimed for policies and programmes that would go beyond equality of educational resources. The allocation of extraordinary resources by the US Federal Government to students and schools with the greatest social difficulties – that reached 10 US billion annually (Karsten, 2006: 262)- is a symptom of the determination of the public sector to undertake positive discrimination with the most needed.
In Europe, governments showed also determination towards positive discrimination. In the UK the Education Priority Areas (EPA) programme was launched in the 1960s with additional resources for 51 Local Educational Authorities and 572 schools. EPA also included other measures such as salary bonuses for teachers working in priority school, linguist programmes or counselling and guidance activities for families (Power, 2008; Karsten, 2006). “It was hoped that a policy of positive discrimination would bring additional resources within the school which could then ‘compensate’ for the disadvantages of deprivation experienced by the child outside the school” (Power, 2008: 20). A similar programme -Zones d’Education Prioritaire (ZEP)- was launched in France after the victory of the socialist party in 1981 (Henriot-van Zanten, 1990). ZEP policy was the first attempt to territorialise and diversify education policy in a highly centralised education system (Karsten 2006). As in the UK, this policy increased human and financial resources for ZEP schools, allowed for lower ration and established salary incentives in order to attract and retain the best teaching staff (OECD, 2012).
In Southern Europe, the late arrival of democratic regimes (from the mid 1970s) delayed the development of policies and programmes addressed to compensate for social inequalities in education. In Spain, the socialist party launched a programme for compensatory education in 1983, aiming to increase the human and material resources of schools with high proportions of disadvantaged students (Varela, 2011) and opening the possibility for regional governments to identify priority areas. In Portugal, only in 1996 the Territórios Educativos de Intervenção Prioritária (TEIP) –Priority Intervention education zones- were established as a programme of additional resources and better coordination in the most deprived territories of the country (Correia, 2012).
In general, priority education policies have evolved from a systemic and uniform set of policy measures addressed to schools or territories to a higher process of individualisation and diversification (Francia, 2013). The degree to which these evolution has favoured education equity and has increased the educational opportunities of the most disadvantaged students in a matter of debate in the policy and academic community. This symposium will approach this debate by including four case studies that focus on the evolution, design and impact of priority education policies in four European countries. Cases from UK, France, Portugal and Spain (Catalonia), will provide insights on the different models of intervention in each country and the changes in this policy area in the last decades.
Coleman, J. et al (1966). Equality of Educational Opportunity. Washington, US Government Printing Office. Correia, J. A., Cruz, I., Rochex, J. Y., & Salgado, L. (2012). From the invention of the democratic city to the management of exclusion and urban violence in Portugal. In Educational Policies and Inequalities in Europe (pp. 157-188). Palgrave Macmillan, London. Demeuse, M., Frandji, D., Greger, D. & Rochex, JY. (2012) Educational Policies and Inequalities in Europe. London: Palgrave MacMillan. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism.Princeton. NJ: Princeton University Press. Esping-Andersen, G. (Ed.). (1996) Welfare states in transition: National adaptations in global economies. London: Sage. Francia, G. (2013) The impacts of individualization on equity educational policies. New approaches in educational research, 2 (1), pp. 17–22. Henriot-van Zanten A. (1990) L’école et l’espace local. Les enjeux des zones d’éducation prioritaires. Lyon: PUL. Karsten, S. (2006). Policies for disadvantaged children under scrutiny: the Dutch policy compared with policies in France, England, Flanders and the USA. Comparative Education, 42 (2), 261-282. OECD (2012) Equity and quality in education. Supporting Disadvantaged Students and Schools. Paris: OCDE. Power, S. (2008). How should we respond to the continuing failure of compensatory education? ORBIS SCHOLAE, 2 (2), 19-37. Varela, J. (2011) Ensenyament. Obra de govern, Generalitat de Catalunya 1980-2003. Barcelona: Centre d’Estudis Jordi Pujol. Generalitat de Catalunya.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.