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Title: Disciplinary exclusion and social class: school processes and inequitable outcomes
Author: Gazeley, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0001 2422 1551
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2008
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In this thesis I discuss the findings of a small-scale research study carried out in England that set out to explore the over-representation of working class pupils in school exclusion processes. Recent education policy has emphasised the need to improve the educational attainment of pupils from the poorest backgrounds in order to improve their future life chances (DfES, 2004a; 2006a). There is also a substantial body of literature that discusses differences in the way that working class and middle class parents engage in educational processes. Although a link between low socia-economic status and recorded exclusion from school has. been identified in previous research, the factors contributing to this over-representation have not been substantially explored. However, difficulties defining both disciplinary exclusion and social class make exploring this over-representation more problematic. In making this the focus of this thesis I begin to address this gap in the literature. Throughout this thesis I conceptualise both disciplinary exclusion and social class as complex processes. I draw on predominantly qualitative data collected as part of a case study carried out over the course of the academic year 2004/2005. Although interviews and school level secondary data provided much of the data, I also draw on a small number of observations and a questionnaire. I explore the perspectives of different groups of respondents, including professionals working with pupils identified as 'at risk' of exclusion from school in both within-school and non-school contexts and also those of a small number of parents. I structure my discussion of the research findings around three key issues. Firstly I explore disciplinary exclusion as a complex process and illustrate how the over-representation of working class pupils within this process is not always recognised at practice level. Secondly, I consider the effects of social class on the parent-professional interaction that occurs within school exclusion processes and the additional demands that involvement in these processes make on parents. Finally, I consider how limitations in inclusive professional practice, both at institutional and individual levels, contribute to the involvement of working class pupils in disciplinary processes. Throughout this thesis I argue that it is important to recognise disproportionate involvement in school exclusion processes as a particular form of working class educational disadvantage. This thesis makes a contribution to knowledge by developing our understanding of what is currently an under-recognised issue of educational inequity.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available