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Title: What factors can contribute to placing young people at risk of exclusion and what support interventions can help to reduce their risk of exclusion?
Author: Ruddock, Daniel Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 3892
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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School exclusion has profound implications for life chances. Mentoring, alternative provision and anger management groups based on cognitive behavioural therapy are commonly used to improve behaviour and reduce exclusions. This qualitative case study explores, retrospectively, what factors can contribute to placing young people at risk of exclusion and what support interventions help to reduce exclusions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with Year 11 boys (n=9) who were at risk of permanent exclusion one year before commencement of the study. At the time of the interviews, one subgroup had been excluded (n=4), whilst the other subgroup was at reduced risk of exclusion (n=5). Pupils had received 1 or more interventions (i.e. mentoring, learning, alternative provision) in addition to anger management group support. Pupils' parents and principal teacher were also interviewed. School and pupil documentary evidence supported the analysis. All participants detailed complex and interacting factors across contexts that contributed to pupils' risk of exclusion. Main themes concerned the influence of a sense of belonging, resilience, causal attributions, communication and selfconcept. Poor communication between home and school impeded collaborative support planning. Mentoring from external services was considered to be effective, as were learning interventions. Alternative provision re-engaged learners to a degree. Anger management raised awareness of triggers and strategies for expressing anger constructively. Barriers to effectiveness included treatmentreadiness, poor relationships, attachment, peers, learning, communication needs and self-concept. Non-excluded pupils were more likely than excluded pupils to have received support targeted at their specific needs. Interventions are considered to be effective when all of young people's needs are addressed. Collaborative communication, thorough assessment and an understanding of the complex and interacting factors affecting young people at risk of exclusion, can help schools to create personalised interventions that improve behaviour and reduce exclusions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available