In this chapter I want to provide an overview of recent developments in teaching bilingual students in the UK, suggesting that in organizational terms we have witnessed a gradual (though by no means tidy) progression from the physical isolation and exclusion of such students to their physical inclusionbut continued symbolic exclusion-in mainstream education (Figure 1). I shall argue that in order for the full inclusion of bilingual students to take place-that is to say, both their physical and their symbolic inclusion in mainstream education and in the larger society-changes need to be made to the way in which culture, bilingualism and indeed the purposes and functions of education itself are perceived and understood in that larger society, and in consequent changes in official state policy on these issues. Clearly, this has implications for curriculum change, but also for how ‘bilingual education’ itself is configured and perceived. As Giroux has argued with reference to the education of multicultured students in the United States:
[T]he problem within our educational system lies ultimately in the realm of values and politics, not in the realm of management and economics. Consequently, educational reformers and other cultural workers need to address the most basic questions of purpose and meaning. What kind of society do we want? How do we educate students for a truly democratic society? What conditions do we need to provide teachers…and students for such an education to be meaningful and workable?