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Title: At risk of exclusion? : a study of the experiences of, and support provided for, ten young people aged 14-16 in two large, urban secondary schools
Author: Moreton, Paul
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This study explored how and why some young people are considered “at-risk” of school exclusion, focusing on the implications for a cohort in the latter stages of compulsory education in two large urban secondary schools in the Midlands. Interviews, undertaken with students at four points during one academic year and with staff, alongside detailed data from records and files, were analysed with the interpretivist techniques of Constructivism and Document Analysis to identify the characteristics that influenced the students’ status, their schools’ provision and policy response processes and their experiences in the school environment and wider. A review of existing literature showed that whilst those “at-risk” share common characteristics, especially low socioeconomic status, the combination, extent and even timing of their influence is difficult to assess, such that response and intervention panaceas are unlikely to be found. This research showed that whilst the cohort completed their compulsory schooling, they were, perhaps, less successful in core academic outcomes and were also subject to variability and inconsistency in school responses and interventions, related to the influences of interpretation and dispositions on staff roles and policy implementation. The study concludes that deeper understanding of needs, staff training, a more relevant curriculum and greater involvement of young people “at-risk” and their parents/carers, in school life and decisions directly affecting them, could improve outcomes. The ramifications are potentially significant, suggesting that schools and policymakers can and should do more to avoid marginalising young people, with improvements that need not involve structural change, new schools, or extensive costs. The suggestions also implicitly challenge the mantra of recent national policy and developments in secondary education, that raising young peoples’ aspirations and diversifying provision are preconditions for improved social mobility.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; LB1603 Secondary Education. High schools