Thomson, Pat and Russell, Lisa (2009) Data, data everywhere - but not all the numbers that count? Mapping alternative provisions for students excluded from school. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 13 (4). pp. 423-438. ISSN 1360-3116

It is now mandatory for English schools to ensure that young people, under 16 years of age, who are excluded from school are placed in an education and training programme within 12 days. The programme must be at least half time, and should offer a meaningful and balanced curriculum. The Every Child Matters agenda also suggests that schools must coordinate services with other agencies to ensure that young people deemed 'at risk' are assisted to stay in mainstream schooling. Our research project examined the educational and training provisions for permanently excluded pupils, and young people likely to be permanently excluded, across two Midlands counties. The research focus - who gets what - is fundamental to questions of equity, access and participation. The findings suggest that, despite some very good local practices and highly skilled practitioners, there is a lack of coordinated data about which programmes exist and who attends, and a proliferation of programmes with varying funding sources, costs, entry practices, and qualifications. It is argued that this situation bodes poorly for monitoring and for ensuring the entitlement to education and training of those young people who are most marginalised by and through their schooling. However, we are concerned about the possibilities for further intensification of staff work and increased surveillance on young people if our recommendations for equity monitoring and better quality control were to go ahead.

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