Morrison, Marlene and Lumby, Jacky
Equality audits in education: exercises in compliance or frameworks for inclusion?
Ethnography & Education, 2, (3), . (doi:10.1080/17457820701547369).
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Ethnography is used sparingly in audits, giving 'richness' to phenomena which are preferably measured rather than interrogated. This paper considers the development of qualitative tools for equality audits in education settings, drawing upon an equal status review conducted in Ireland during 2005-2006 with dual interests in anti-discrimination legislation and social inclusion. The focus is on three questions: do equality audits provide frameworks for promoting inclusion? Are prospects for use enhanced by mainly qualitative tools? Are tools applicable more widely without compromising the bases upon which they were originally devised? Conclusions suggest that audits provide helpful starting points in areas of equality legislation that have been previously neglected, provided they are considered alongside other approaches and beyond their litigious implications. Embedding equality is seen as a long-term persistent strategy in which audits exemplify commitments to equality as action rather than rhetoric.
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