Implications of localism in educational policy on the aspirations of young people in Cornwall

Ruth Boyask, Terri Rees, Cath Gristy, Helen L Knowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The physical location of Cornwall, England impacts upon its social and
economic development and is evident in the aspirations ascribed to and held
by young people within the region. Schools have been set the task of raising
aspirations, as low expectations are perceived to be a barrier to high attainment
in schooling. We draw upon research in two Cornish secondary schools that
attempted to raise aspirations through school change and by entering into the
Academy schools programme. What we found was that their location was
generally perceived as a disadvantage to aspiration. We suggest that within the
current climate of localisation in educational policy it will be difficult for
individual schools to scrutinise themselves and their practices. It will be
difficult to ensure that they do not perpetuate poor social outcomes through
entrenched beliefs about a link between physical isolation and social
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalSocial and Public Policy Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


  • Education policy
  • localism
  • Young People
  • Rural education
  • Academy schools


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