Monthly Archives: April 2014

Who is excluded?

Empirical research and government data collections in the UK tell us that students designated as marginalised/excluded do share certain social characteristics: Boys are far more likely to be formally excluded than girls (Institute of Education (University of London) and the National Foundation for Educational Research ( NFER), 2013; McCluskey, Lloyd, Riddell, & Fordyce, 2013). Recent Scottish data […]

naming – and shaming?

Alternative education programmes are often seen as ‘other’ to the mainstream or regular school (Gale and Densmore, 2000, Mills and McGregor, 2013). The dominant model operates as the norm, against which any other kind of option is seen as not only different but also somehow lesser, inferior, deviant (Valencia, 1997, Slee, 2011). The stigma of […]

who has access to alternative education?

Administrative guidelines generally offer a list of those eligible for alternative education including: school refusers and phobics, young parents, those with chronic illness as well as descriptors of those characterised variously as ‘marginalised’, ‘vulnerable’ ‘at risk’ or ‘disengaged’ and/or ‘disruptive. These lists are very specific when attached to funding. Indeed, one of the consequences of […]

mapping alternative education by questions and organisational types

In the UK, Rix and Twining (2007) have also developed a descriptive typology for alternative education. They suggest that one apparently simple way of categorizing alternative education is around a set of descriptors developed from some Rix and Twiningbasic questions and sub-questions: WHO: At risk/ School refusers/ Low-achievers/ Excluded young parents WHERE In a school/Alternative […]

mapping alternative education by programme or purpose

Here are two more ways to think about alternative education: Thomson and Russell (2007) took a programmatic approach to mapping alternative provision suggesting nine different foci  and approach. This chimes with that taken by OfSTED (2011). Each of these programmes might then be understood by duration, enrolment and location. Nature of programme Type of activity Examples […]

mapping the field of alternative education

The US scholar Aron (2003, 2006; Aron & Zweig, 2003) has argued that developing a typology of alternative education provision  is not reflective of what actually happens. She suggested that in reality the practice in alternative education programmes and schools has always showed blurred and overlapping elements. Together with Zweig (2003) she analysed ways of categorising […]

a typology of alternative education?

It is challenging to create some sense of order from the diversity of alternative education provision. When we go to national and international literatures we find three interesting points: (1)   The range of alternative education on offer in the UK is not dissimilar to that found in other places. (2)   Alternative education has existed alongside mainstream […]

defining alternative education

Official guidance to English schools about statutory requirements for the education of children under the school leaving age states that alternative education is … for pupils who, because of exclusion, illness or other reasons, would not otherwise receive suitable education; education arranged by schools for pupils on a fixed period exclusion; and pupils being directed […]