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Safeguarding children’s wellbeing within educational settings: a critical review of inclusion strategies

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter

Published

Publication date2009
Host publicationCritical perspectives on safeguarding children
EditorsKaren Broadhurst, Chris Grover, Janet Jamieson
Place of publicationChichester
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISBN (Print)9780470682326
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Education policy is central to safeguarding children since school and related educational services such as pre-school education and extended schools, appear to provide a ready-made arena for engaging hard-to-reach children and their families. However, recent evaluations of Children’s Centres suggest that certain family categories ‘slip through the net’, for example those from smaller ethnic minority communities. This chapter will provide a critical overview of the potentials and limitations of Children’s Centres, with a focus on issues of inclusion and engagement. The discussion will draw on data from an evaluation of Early Excellence Centres (now Children’s Centres) to critically examine strategies for engaging a wider reach of families and for developing two-way communication between parents and education professionals, with the goal of sharing holistic knowledge about the child. This, it will be suggested, is vital for safeguarding children’s well-being including their ‘liking of school’, recently found to be a low point in the UK (UNICEF 2007). Constraints to the realisation of this goal are argued to lie in the current emphasis of educational policy on a narrowly defined academic performance.

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