Children, Education and Health: International Perspectives on Law and Policy

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3. Children, education and health: international perspectives on law and policy Edited by Neville Harris and Paul Meredith. Published by Ashgate Publishing Limited, Aldershot, 2005. Hardback 277pp. Price £55 ISBN 0-7546-4387-5

I must confess to finding the content of this book rather disappointing given its engaging title. I expect that, like me, many readers, other than those directly involved in educational law, will find much of the material limited in its usefulness to their own professional practice. This is because the book is a compilation of contributions to an international conference, which, despite the efforts of the editors to provide an appropriate structure, and an excellent foreword by Professor Jan de Groof, comes across as a collection of esoteric papers somewhat detached from the practicalities of service management.

Each of the eminent authors undoubtedly brings a high degree of legal authority to their writing, and for those readers who persevere there are some real insights to be found among the various contributions. For instance, a well considered study of attitudes to human rights issues in different countries, particularly the distinctions resulting from cultural and religious traditions, will be of value to those working in multicultural settings. Other papers discuss how apparently supportive legislation might actually limit the scope of health improvements, for instance, through parents withdrawing their children from sex education lessons or from the contradictory messages about drug use being given in the school curriculum and by the disciplinary actions of governing bodies. …