• 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.
    • 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.