Secondary School Exclusions: Young people’s experiences of support
This research explored the interventions that are offered to secondary school students who have experienced a series of fixed term and/or permanent exclusion in a county in England. The study employed a mixed methods design using a systems framework. Interventions that were recommended by educational psychologists in the county and those reported by secondary schools and pupil referral units were analysed and compared to the experiences of young people who had been excluded. Data was gathered via questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The perspectives of the young people provide an insight into their experiences of support before and after their exclusion from secondary school. In particular, they reported considerable difficulty coping with a number of challenges associated with adolescence, transition, relationships with peers and teachers as well as issues around family and the design of interventions that appeared to punish rather than support them. Later experiences of acceptance, positive regard and a flexible approach with personalised measures had made a considerable impact in supporting their reintegration. Implications for EP practice are discussed along with the opportunities that this study may have provided for further research on this issue.
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