How policies of priority education shape educational needs: New fabrications and contradictions

Miquel Àngel Alegre, Jordi Collet, Sheila González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article aims to interpret how different policies of priority education deal with the notions of "educational needs" and "educational inequalities." Indeed, it is the processes and mechanisms embedded in the deployment of such policies that ultimately model a category of educational need that goes beyond the conceptualization of educational inequality used to justify the policies themselves. The authors reach this conclusion by examining four European programs of priority education (PPE). Two basic tendencies are identified. On the one hand, recent deployment of the English and French initiatives seems to be altering the formulation of problems they are designed to address by enhancing in practice a decontextualized notion of individual educational need in which it is considered legitimate to intervene. On the other hand, the Catalan and Dutch programs, which theoretically address both territorial and nonformal educational inequalities, in fact apply prioritization schemes and interventions mainly based on school-based social measures. © The Author(s) 2011.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-337
JournalEducational Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


  • educational inequalities
  • educational needs
  • fabrication
  • priority education


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