Constructing productive post-school transitions: an analysis of Australian schooling policies

Stephen Billett, Susan Thomas, Cheryl Sim, Greer Johnson, Steve Hay, Jill Ryan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Not having clear pathways, or the social means and personal capacities to make a productive transition from schooling, can inhibit young people's participation in social and economic life thereafter. This paper advances an analysis of how policy documents associated with senior schooling from across Australian states address the needs of students who are most at risk of not securing productive transitions. The review identifies that many of the goals emphasised the autonomy of students in taking control of their own transitions. However, such individualistic views downplay the importance of the mediating role that access to cultural, social and economic capital is likely to play in the negotiations involved in making a productive transition. Thus, the needs of 'at-risk' students who may have limited access to the forms of capital offering the best support for these negotiations are not well acknowledged in the policies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)471-489
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Education and Work
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


    • Education policy
    • Post-school pathways
    • Post-schooling goals
    • Schooling policy
    • Transitions to work
    • Youth transitions


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