Social inclusion and its promotion
This research study is concerned with the concept of social inclusion, its significance, its origins, its definition and its history. It looks particularly at its development in the United Kingdom since the election of a Labour Government in 1997 and, in that context, the implementation of a Social Inclusion Strategy by a County Council referred to throughout as ‘Someshire’. It offers as an example of reflective inquiry an evaluation of aspects of the implementation of the Strategy led by the Council’s Education Department and some comments on the Council’s own, previous, evaluation of the whole Strategy. Through this study, it engages with a range of stakeholders including schools, County Council Officers and representatives of parents and school governors in an attempt to discover what has gone well and why. It concludes with a set of recommendations for action by a range of parties who, in their different policy contexts, might wish to promote social inclusion. Finally, this study has been written by a senior Local Education Authority Officer. This results in the emergence of two voices within it. In Chapter 1 there can be perceived the voice of the traditional researcher, attempting what Schon describes as the ‘technical rationality’ of traditional research. In Chapters 2, 4 and, to some extent, 5 the voice changes to that of the ‘reflective practitioner’ with its reliance on the ability to intuit, know-in-action, an ability derived from over thirty years working in education, principally as an educational manager.