• Exclusions and alternative provision: piecing together the picture

      Malcolm, Andrew David; University of Bedfordshire (Informa {UK} Limited, 2017-08-22)
      This article makes the case for clearer reporting of alternative provision. The main body of this paper consists of an analysis of available data on permanent exclusions and attendance at alternative provision. Findings show a greater number of young people attending alternative provision compared to those permanently excluded and concerning patterns of over representation among children in care and those with a special educational need or disability. This raises issues of children’s rights, particularly equality of educational experience and of fair access to the schooling system. It is argued that annual reporting on exclusions should be developed to include a section of in depth reporting on alternative provision.
    • Heads of alternative provision: committed to realising young peoples’ potential in an unregulated market

      Malcolm, Andrew David (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-04)
      Alternative provision (AP) caters for pupils marginalised and excluded from mainstream schooling. In England, it is conceptualised in policy as providing education to support behavioural improvements (pupils are directed off-site to improve behaviour). There is limited research on the experiences of those who work in AP settings. That which does exist tends to report the commitment of these professionals to the young people with whom they work. Young people who attend these schools frequently talk positively about the relationships they experience there. As such, there is a need to better understand the motivations of those working with these young people if we are to understand the key relationships that make AP work. This article fills a gap by focusing on the experiences of those managing AP settings across a geographical area. The findings are based on 3 interviews and 20 surveys and develop significantly our understanding of the motivations of those working in and managing AP settings. Interesting divergences in practice are highlighted and findings show managers both see and work to realise the potential of young people in AP. These findings suggest staff commitment should be conceptualised as belief in the potential of the young people who attend AP.
    • Relationships in Alternative Provision: a review of the literature

      Malcolm, Andrew David; Relationships Foundation; University of Bedfordshire (Relationships Foundation/Universigy of Bedfordshire, 2021-04-01)
      This report presents the findings of a literature review which focused on relationships in alternative provision (AP) settings and the way in which these are related to outcomes for young people. It was commissioned by Relationships Foundation to support their involvement in IntegratEd - a collaborative research project which seeks to reduce preventable school exclusions and improve the quality of education for children excluded from school. For the purposes of this review AP is considered to be an educational setting away from the mainstream site which is attended by young people who have experienced marginalisation and exclusion from school. For a study to be included in this review it needed to have been undertaken in, or with a focus on, at least one AP setting in England. A total of 114 studies were identified for inclusion in this review. The evidence base is somewhat limited by a tendency for research to be exploratory and undertaken on a small scale, involving the collection of qualitative data and the thematic analysis of the experiences and perceptions of those connected to AP settings. That said, there is a high level of consistency across the evidence base and future studies are well placed to build on findings to date with larger scale research. https://www.integrated.org.uk/
    • Sustaining Post-16 destinations from Alternative Provision: a review of the data and the perspectives of heads from low, mid and high performing schools

      Malcolm, Andrew David; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor & Francis, 2022-01-11)
      This study set out to explore which practices in alternative provision (AP) settings in England made a difference to post-16 transition success into further education, training or employment. APs provide education for pupils who have been permanently excluded from mainstream schools and those directed there to improve their behaviour. In 2016 56% of young people transitioning from alternative provision maintained a stable placement in the following year. This study took an approach which combined the analysis of official statistics, freedom of information requests and targeted semi-structured interviews. Findings suggest that practices which increased sustained transitions included; effective and ongoing tracking of ex-students; a high quality, core academic offer; and opportunities for students to increase their independence by taking well measured steps outside of their main placement. Additionally, the views of staff and their involvement in, or awareness of, the broader context within which they worked were found to be important. This study evidences the value of comparing outcomes across similar types of setting to improve our understanding of effective practice.
    • Turning points in a qualitatively different social space: young adults’ reflections of alternative provision

      Malcolm, Andrew David; University of Bedfordshire (Taylor and Francis, 2019-02-23)
      There is a wealth of evidence suggesting that after being marginalised and excluded from school young people who attend Alternative Provision settings report positive relationships and experiences of learning. There is however very little research which explores the longer term outcomes of attending this sort of provision. Retrospective life history interviews were undertaken with 18 young adults in their early to mid-20s who had attended Alternative Provision in England. Interviews focused on schooling, exclusion, attending Alternative Provision and the impact of this on what they had done since leaving school up to their present situation. Analysis showed that the experience of attending Alternative Provision frequently constituted a turning point in a young person’s life story. This was due to the qualitatively different kind of social space experienced there.