Alternative Provision and School Exclusions

This presentation will discuss the place of Alternative Provision (AP) in the process of exclusion in England, with a particular focus on issues related to social justice. Consideration will be given to some of the reasons why young people find themselves in AP. It will highlight the ways in which AP can serve to further marginalise young people who are already alienated by the education system. However, it will also draw on data from English AP sites to demonstrate how such sites can work to ensure that young people excluded from mainstream schools are retained in education. The choice is sometimes not between AP and the mainstream, but AP or no education. In some AP sites young people suggest that they are far happier than they were in the mainstream and, when it is provided can be engaged in meaningful learning. The presentation will consider why that it is and whether or not there are lessons to be learned from the AP sector which can help to make mainstream schools more inclusive. Throughout the presentation the voices of teachers and students in AP will be foregrounded. There will also be some discussion of international approaches to AP.