Vulnerable children, young people, and families: Policy, practice, and social justice in England and Scotland

Michael Jopling, Sharon Vincent

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This chapter begins by highlighting the rise of vulnerability as a term in social policy, and the three-level approach that is used to examine it. The first level is definitional, examining the possibility of defining vulnerability and vulnerabilities through a consideration of relevant literature and a number of recent policy documents. The second looks at how policy developments in Scotland and England have diverged, particularly since 2010, and how vulnerability has become more central to education policy in England. The third level focuses on practice, presenting research undertaken by authors into a programme developed to support vulnerable children, young people, and families in Northern England as a case study exemplifying some of the factors affecting the effectiveness of programmes in which schools played an important but not central part. This practice perspective is still too often overlooked in discussions of policy and definition, and it is suggested that its inclusion will contribute to the ongoing debate about both how best to support vulnerable families and the implications for education and social justice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on Promoting Social Justice in Education
EditorsRosemary Papa
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9783030146252
ISBN (Print)9783030146245
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2020


  • Education
  • England
  • Schools
  • Scotland
  • Social justice
  • Vulnerability
  • Vulnerable children
  • Vulnerable families
  • Vulnerable young people


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