Inclusive physical education? A study of the management of national curriculum physical education and unplanned outcomes in England

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One key aspect of the growing policy emphasis on educational inclusion in England has been the tendency for physical education (PE) to be used as an important vehicle of social policy targeted at promoting the inclusion of young disabled people and those with special educational needs in mainstream schools. Drawing on aspects of figurational sociology, the central objective of this study is to examine the extent to which PE teachers have been able to achieve the government’s inclusion policy goals articulated in the 2000 National Curriculum for Physical Education (NCPE) for England. The findings indicate that using the NCPE as a means to pursue the government’s educational inclusion policy goals has had unplanned outcomes that have the effect of undermining the extent to which the government is able to use inclusion to make a greater contribution to the promotion of young people’s experiences of PE. It is also argued that these outcomes that no‐one had planned or intended may, for some of the groups involved, be seen as undesirable consequences that emanate from teachers’ attempts to manage the contradictory pressures brought about by pursuing the priorities of government.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-305
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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