School Exclusion and Reintegration: An Exploration of Pupils', Parents' and Teachers' Experiences
School exclusion is experienced by some of the most vulnerable children in society, and challenges to sustained reintegration and consequent 'inclusive' educational issues are well documented. The literature in this area has primarily focussed on exclusion or reintegration in isolation; however few studies have explored both phenomena, and those that do often focus on experiences of one set of actors at the expense of another. This research aims to contribute to these identified gaps by
... g the lived experiences (through the voices) of pupils, parents and teachers; those actors most intimately involved in both processes. This study focuses on four secondary aged pupils who had experienced multiple fixed-term exclusions, followed by sustained and successful reintegration. Using a qualitative design and a preventative approach to establish 'what works' in sustaining reintegration, data was collected via semi-structured interviews with pupils, parents and teachers to obtain their multiple perspectives. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis participants' experiences of exclusion and reintegration were captured through emerging themes of security. Three interacting super-ordinate themes representing participants accounts were identified as: 'Threats to Security', the 'Search for Security', and the 'Re-establishing of Security'. Themes were interpreted to explore how potential risk and protective factors are mediated within the pupil's ecological system, and how these precipitated the emergence of vulnerability and resilience for young people. With a primary focus on how preventative practices can enhance protective factors leading to successful reintegration, the implications of these findings for Educational Psychologists and professionals working with pupils, parents and teachers are discussed in relation to the resources within the child's system. It is proposed that strengthening these resources may promote resilience and facilitate positive social, emotional and educational wellbeing.