This is a space for people to be able to share stories and learn about exclusion.
We need research to inform us, to help us connect the dots. Research underpins the evidence necessary to create change.
Change needs more than one voice. We need to create conversations, build a community and shape the future.
Once upon a time, there a girl. She was a young girl of 12, maybe 13 years old and it was at this time that her world had collapsed into the unknown abyss that is local authority care. She lived with lots of different types of people in different kinds of homes. This girl had no words and could draw no pictures so as all children do; she expressed her inner world through a special language known as Behaviour. Unfortunately, Behaviour was not a language that many could understand and was not spoken by many at the school she attended. Before long, she was expelled and went to another school. They also did not speak Behaviour, so a short time later she was expelled again leaving school without any qualifications and feelings of worthlessness.
Many many (many) years later, there was a woman, a successful woman, who decided to add to her (by now quite extensive) knowledge by completing a Masters Degree! For her dissertation, she chose to research and write about young people who were excluded from school during the 1970s and 1980s, and who had also been in the abyss of ‘care’. As she listened to their stories, she realised that they too had been to schools that had not spoken the language of Behaviour. After many years of working in schools and working with many young people, she realised that the language of Behaviour needed to be taught. So she became a trainer, teaching the language of Behaviour while helping those professionals develop ways of connecting, listening and learning from the children and young people with whom they were privileged to work.
To understand this further, she decided to apply to undertake a DPhil and that is where you will find her; studying at the University of Oxford, within the Department of Education nestled in a corner within the Rees Centre.
This website is about all of those stories, many of which have been lost and silenced along the way. When we understand that behaviour is THE only form of communication that a child or young person generally has in order to share their inner world, then we can begin to hear and understand. When the inner world changes because it has been heard and understood, the outer world becomes more manageable, less scary and provides a space for relationships to grow so that learning can take place!