Re-engaging with Education
Croll, P., Attwood, G. and Hamilton, J. (2003) Re-engaging with Education. Research Papers in Education, 18 (1). pp. 75-95. ISSN 0267-1522
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/0267152032000048596
The paper reports a study of alternative pre- 16 provision in a college of further education for young people who were disaffected and/or non-attenders at secondary school. The data are derived from interviews with 26 of these young people who were 'success stories' for the programme in that they had continued attendance up to the end of Year 11 and, in a few cases, beyond. The interviews showed that, for the most part, school placements had broken down for these young people because of difficulties in personal relationships, in particular relationships with teachers. However, for a minority a perceived irrelevance of the school curriculum was also a factor. The young people were almost all positive about their experience at college and the vocational courses they were taking. A good atmosphere, good personal relationships and being treated as adults were the key features of their positive experience at college although their positive feelings about the particular course was related to its vocational relevance. Most of the young people said that education and training was important to them and that they planned further study. The paper tentatively concludes that it is poor personal relationships that are mainly responsible for the premature exit from school and that good personal relationships have enabled them to remain in education. However, their continued involvement in college and intentions for further study are strongly influenced by vocational factors. The positive tone on the results reflects the perceptions of the young people at the point of interview and the paper does not deal with the disadvantaged situation many of them may be in. Further research will focus on longer term outcomes for employment and training.