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Title: A critical examination of government policy addressing early school leaving
Author: Morrissey, Seamus
Awarding Body: The Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2010
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The issue of early school leaving is currently viewed as a particular concern in Galway City, Ireland. Despite national policy and numerous programmes, early school leaving continues to be prevalent. The central focus of this study is to critically examine government policy addressing early school leaving. Through qualitative methodologies, primary data was collected from students, teachers, principals and education personnel. The student voice was viewed as a significant source of data within the study. Thirty-two semi-structured interviews were completed; sixteen of which were with early school leavers. These early school leavers, defined as having left the school system prior to completing the Leaving Certificate, were aged between fourteen and twenty-one. Sixteen professionals, including teachers and principals, working with schools in Galway City were interviewed. The study identifies disaffection and early school leaving as significant issues within the Irish education system. Disaffection, while complex, is identifiable among students through aggressiveb ehaviour,d isrupteda ttendancep, oor relationshipsw ith teachers, lack of interest and non-engagemenint academicp rocesses. The researchp rovides evidence that in some cases the education system, rather than alleviating disaffection, is actively perpetuatingd isaffectionw hich contributest o early schooll eaving. Furthermoret,h rough the implementationo f GroundedT heory, the contextuali ssueso f socio-economicw ithin families and communitiese merged. The researche stablished that current policy aimed at tackling early school leaving is working on the periphery of schools rather than affecting change within schools. The research also highlighted the existence of two original factors which are contributing to the issue of disaffection: 1) Tensiona mong key constituentso f the educations ystema nd 2) A `culpability culture' among those who contribute to disaffection and the issue of early school leaving. Recommendationasr e outlined, including the need for a greatere mphasiso n inclusive policy and practice within the Irish education system.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available