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Rurality and social inclusion: A case of preschool education

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE


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This paper begins by reviewing several of the ways in which social inclusion has been conceptualized in the literature. The paper then explores these approaches in the context of the provision of preschool education in rural Scotland. Preschool education is viewed by government as a powerful weapon in the fight against social exclusion, but higher per capita costs in rural areas as well as the availability and cost of transport are major problems, raising questions in turn about inclusive models of provision. Moreover, many parents are sceptical about their ability to access preschool education for their children while also continuing their own engagement in the labour market (a central pillar of social inclusion policy). Issues of choice, quality and governance arise and these are discussed in depth. The paper concludes with some reflections on the concept of social inclusion in the light of this case study. © 2006 The Author(s) Journal Compilation © 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shucksmith M, Shucksmith J, Watt J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Social Policy and Administration

Year: 2006

Volume: 40

Issue: 6

Pages: 678-691

ISSN (print): 0144-5596

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9515

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9515.2006.00526.x


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