‘Making up for lost time’: Neoliberal governance and educational catch-up measures for disadvantaged students during the COVID-19 pandemic
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The neoliberal governance of education and the import of values such as economic productivity are changing schools in Europe to different degrees. Understanding the effects of this on disadvantaged students is especially critical during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, given their greater need for catch-up support. In this paper we analyse national government policy guidelines and reports concerning catch-up measures in Italy, Germany and England and illuminate debates between various actors using news and education media reports. We find that while catch-up measures in the studied countries promote equality of access, for instance through extending schooling to make up for “lost” time, the undifferentiated universal provision promoted by neoliberal logics is inequitable towards socio-economically, linguistically and ethnically disadvantaged students.
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