Project Details


Beyond the School Gates supports students who have been excluded from or refuse to attend secondary education and their parents by drawing on the lived experiences of former students and their parents who experienced similar issues but successfully re-engaged their education. Current mainstream provision in West Sussex favours target and organisation led approaches to re-engagement that primarily views excluded students and their parents through a deficit model (Burke 2016) assuming they have little motivation or capability to succeed. Beyond the School Gates views excluded students and their parents more positively. Underpinned by Freire’s (1970, 2005) informal, dialogic model their experiences provide a basis for the co-creation of knowledge and subsequent mentoring interventions that enable them to re-engage education.
This project does not replace home schooling or provide alternative provision. Instead, following DfE (2016) recommendations, the project recognises the central role that parents play in students’ educational engagement by working closely within family and community systems - providing mentoring using a capabilities approach (White et al, 2016) that works at the interface between family, schools and organisations.

Layperson's description

This project, funded by SLN: COP, aims to listen to the experiences and perceived needs of excluded secondary school students and their parents. it then takes into consideration the lived experiences of parents and former students who experienced similar issues. Finally the project collaborates with former students, parents and partner organisations to develop an accredited mentoring service that helps parents and excluded students to draw on their own and wider resources to meet their developmental, wellbeing and education needs and re-engage education

Key findings

In progress
Effective start/end date2/02/1830/09/18


  • education
  • exclusion
  • mentor
  • voice


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