Children’s rights, school exclusion and alternative educational provision

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Abstract

This paper examines findings from a recent study in Wales of school exclusion and alternative educational provision. Many, but not all, children in alternative
provision have been excluded from school. The most recent statistics reveal that
nearly 90% of pupils in alternative provision have special educational needs,
nearly 70% are entitled to free school meals (free school meal entitlement is
often used as a proxy indicator for poverty in the UK) and three quarters are
boys (Welsh Government. 2012a. Pupils Educated Other than at School, 2011/
12. Cardiff: Welsh Government). The paper focuses on analysis of findings
about young people’s experiences of exclusion and alternative provision, and
how these experiences may be contextualised within a discussion of children’s
rights. This analysis suggests that young people’s experience is highly variable;
that inappropriate curricula are still common, pastoral support uneven and that
few opportunities exist for success or re-integration. In the most disturbing
examples, young people were found to have experienced physical restraint and
the use of isolation as punishment. The paper concludes, therefore, with a
proposal for change aimed at ensuring that children’s rights are placed at the
heart of educational experience in practice as well as policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-607
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Volume19
Issue number6
Early online date28 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • exclusion
  • alternative provision
  • children's rights

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