When I undertook my research “What impact on education and employment did school exclusion have on adults who left care in the 1970’s and 1980’s” … in my search for participants, I added that they could self define. I wanted those who took part to set that parameter, to alter the conversation and alter the conversation it did.
For example, one of the participants had not been excluded from school as far as I could establish but in ‘leaving care’ at 16 years old, they had felt excluded because they could not continue with their education. They had to work to support themselves independently. Interesting.
This led me to ponder on the term ‘exclusion’ even more deeply. Being acutely aware that many phrases and words become synonymous with legislation and professional speak (always makes me think of Hoover for Vacuum) I would suggest that the language can be difficult to own by the person who is experiencing it; leaving care, in care, excluded, section 20, reintegration, fixed term, not term, your bloody term!
The Government website has what one might term as a narrow definition.
So I asked Twitter to input and fill in the gaps in the variety of understandings and complexities around the word exclusion. What is school exclusion, I asked the Twitterarti?
Opening up is a great tweet from @starlightmckenzie highlighting immediately the variations on perceptions, experiences and voices.
And then from @elly_chapple
And grappling with terminology came @charley0911
Moving on to thinking about inclusion @claire_ryan12 adds
What would you add to this discussion? How do we begin to bring policy and practice together through a deeper more nuanced understanding about exclusion and impact that is understandable by the people who decide?