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This paper presents the findings of a qualitative research project carried out in a UK Pupil Referral Unit during the 2000/01 academic year. It describes and analyses the strategies adopted by a small group of Behaviour Support Service teachers in order to achieve their everyday occupational goals. It is argued that despite their commitment to the reintegration of excluded pupils into mainstream schools, the pedagogic practices adopted by these teachers served to contribute to an amplification, rather than a moderation, of pupil disaffection and misbehaviour. Teachers' perceptions and understandings about the nature and aims of lesson content varied whilst concerns and preoccupations about classroom control remained constant. Within the context of ongoing government debates in the UK surrounding 'social exclusion' and, more specifically, educational exclusion, these findings call for a widening of the research agenda in these areas to include more detailed investigations of occupational circumstance and practitioner needs within non-traditional school settings.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Inclusive Education

Publication Date





103 - 120