A Comparison of Refugee Education Policy and Practice in England and Sweden: Participatory Parity in Schooling and Moves Towards Ordinariness

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


There are more child refugees in Europe than at any point since the end of the Second World War (Save the Children 2016).  This is affecting both communities on the move and communities where uprooted people are resettling. A humanitarian problem on this scale demands a socially just response. For young refugees, education is a fundamental means of integrating into their new context and the act of going to school is a facilitating factor in their resumption of an everyday existence after periods of traumatic upheaval.

This paper’s focus is a case study of how schools work with newly arrived children in England (historically both focus and locus for immigrants) and Sweden (to whom large numbers of immigrants are a new phenomenon). Understanding the positioning of the newly arrived within national educational policy discourses illuminates the values underpinning political decision making in these two differing European contexts (Ball 1998, 124). Policies and practices in these contexts which lead to, or obstruct, new arrivals living an everyday life and participating in education are examined through the two theoretical concepts: ‘participatory parity’ (Fraser 2003) and ‘resumption of an ordinary life’ (Kohli 2014) as we explore each state’s policy response.


External organisations
  • University of Nottingham
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Educational Sciences


  • Refugee Education, policy, Social Justice
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Sep 6
Publication categoryResearch
EventECER European Educational Research Association 2018: Inclusion and Exclusion - Resources for Educational Research? - Free University Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
Duration: 2018 Sep 42018 Sep 7


ConferenceECER European Educational Research Association 2018
Abbreviated titleECER 2018
Internet address