Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Hugs and behaviour points: alternative education and the regulation of ‘excluded’ youth

Thomson, Pat; Pennacchia, Jodie

Hugs and behaviour points: alternative education and the regulation of ‘excluded’ youth Thumbnail


Jodie Pennacchia


© 2015 Taylor & Francis. In England, alternative education (AE) is offered to young people formally excluded from school, close to formal exclusion or who have been informally pushed to the educational edges of their local school. Their behaviour is seen as needing to change. In this paper, we examine the behavioural regimes at work in 11 AE programmes. Contrary to previous studies and the extensive best practice literature, we found a return to highly behaviourist routines, with talking therapeutic approaches largely operating within this Skinnerian frame. We also saw young people offered a curriculum largely devoid of languages, humanities and social sciences. What was crucial to AE providers, we argue, was that they could demonstrate progress in both learning and behaviour to inspectors and systems. Mobilising insights from Foucault, we note the congruence between the external regimes of reward and punishment used in AE and the kinds of insecure work and carceral futures that might be on offer to this group of young people.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 24, 2015
Online Publication Date Oct 30, 2015
Publication Date Jun 2, 2016
Deposit Date Mar 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 22, 2016
Journal International Journal of Inclusive Education
Print ISSN 1360-3116
Electronic ISSN 1464-5173
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 6
Pages 622-640
Keywords inclusion, alternative education, behaviourism, therapeutic approach, Foucault
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Inclusive Education on 30/10/2015, available online:


You might also like

Downloadable Citations