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Social justice and alternative provision

20/07/2022 - 14:00 to 17:00


Recent years have seen increased attention on the Alternative Provision (AP) sector across the United Kingdom with a focus on how it can work to improve the outcomes of children and young people (CYP). Despite this, understandings of the effect of AP policies and practices upon social justice outcomes remain patchy (IntegratED, 2022). This is particularly pertinent at a time when growing numbers of CYP are being enrolled in AP. Alongside this runs wider concern about the number of marginalised young people achieving poorer life outcomes with higher rates of prolonged unemployment, homelessness, and criminal activity. This is particularly the case for those facing disadvantages deriving from class, race, disability, and gender positioning (Johnston and Bradford, 2019).

This symposium contributes to understandings of the current context of AP policy and practice in England (and across the United Kingdom) by bringing together a diverse delegation of academics, practitioners, and sector representatives. Together, we will seek to better understand the underlying issues affecting AP and to address any concerns regarding social justice from a cross-sector, interdisciplinary perspective.

In this symposium, we will explore various factors that may affect issues related to AP and social justice as well as insights from practice and research.

We ask:

  • How can we ensure that young people are welcomed, valued, and supported to stay in, or return back, to school and more generally to succeed in and beyond Alternative Provision?
  • How can Alternative Provision harness the potential of (disadvantaged) young people in order to help them grow and develop?

Speakers and Panellists

Professor Martin Mills, Queensland University of Technology

Dr. Jodie Pennacchia, Nottingham Trent University

Robert Gasson, Chief Executive. Wave Trust

Sarah Johnson, National Organisation of PRUs and APs

Dr. Ian Thompson, Oxford University

Cath Kitchen, The Skylark Partnership

Dr. Andrew Malcolm, University of Bedfordshire

Zahra Bei, No More Exclusions

Nic Brindle, Chief Vision Officer Youth Engagement Schools Trust

Dr. Craig Johnston, University of Winchester

Keynote: TBC

We also invite short papers, provocations, good practice ideas/workshops that explore the social justice issues and questions present in areas such as:

  • Current research in the area of AP
  • Curriculum and pedagogy in AP
  • Innovative Practice in AP
  • The context of professional training and development for AP staff
  • The national policy context surrounding AP and its implications for practice
  • AP funding and quality assurance
  • Covid-19 and the AP context
  • Papers, workshops, and short practice ideas welcome.


Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday 17th June 2022

Registration Deadline: Friday 15th July 2022

Abstracts should be no more than 200 words for papers and alternative formats (workshops etc). Please send this to Craig Johnston along with a brief bio and contact details.




Dr Craig Johnston, University of Winchester

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