School exclusion and transition into adulthood in African-Caribbean communities

Cecile Wright, Penny Standen, Gus John, Gerry German and Tina Patel
Published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Being excluded from school  not only has an impact on the young person, but on their family too. Statistics show that African-Caribbean girls and boys are still around three times more likely to be permanently excluded than white pupils, and this study looks at how they can overcome the problem and move into adulthood.

Of the 33 African-Caribbean young people from Nottingham and London interviewed, more than a third moved to another school following exclusion. All but three were in education or employment when interviewed.

Even where youngsters admitted that their exclusion may have been caused by unacceptable behaviour, they still felt a sense of injustice with some believing punishment was more severe for black pupils than white.

Crucial to their transition into adulthood was the positive emotional support provided by their extended families, plus the practical support provided by voluntary organisations. Their help with career advice, appeal meetings and accessing alternative resources were all deemed to be invaluable.

Given the critical role played by voluntary organisations, the research team argues that central support and secure funding for these bodies would be “the single most effective intervention to reduce the impact of school exclusion”.

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.