This report presents the findings from a project called Beyond the School Gates, funded by SLN: COP (February – September 2018). The project supports young people who have been excluded from, or refuse to attend secondary education and their parents by drawing on the lived experiences of former young people 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 young people and their parents through a deficit model (Burke 2016) assuming they have little motivation or capability to succeed. Beyond the School Gates views excluded young people and their parents more positively. Underpinned by Freire’s (1972, 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 education provision. Instead, following DfE (2016) recommendations, the project recognises the central role that parents play in young people’s 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.
1. To listen to the experiences and perceived needs of excluded secondary school young people and their parents
2. To take into consideration the lived experiences of parents and former young people who experienced similar issues
3. To collaborate with former young people, parents and partner organisations to develop an accredited mentoring service that helps parents and excluded young people to draw on their own and wider resources to meet their developmental, wellbeing and education needs and re-engage education
Original languageEnglish
Commissioning bodyUniversity of Brighton
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2018


  • Young people
  • Education
  • Exclusion
  • parents
  • mentoring
  • engagement


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond the school gates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this