AbstractThis article presents findings from research focusing on family engagement within alternative provision. With the existing literature on alternative provision scant, this article analyses the extensive assemblage of family engagement within settings as practitioners navigate complex family environments often characterised by poverty, crime and substance abuse. While settings create formalised structures of family engagement that prioritise a collaborative approach to children’s development—such as family learning days and daily positive phone calls—equally they work to attenuate the isolation and loneliness of families who feel as excluded as their child. Yet as important as structured engagement is, practitioners within alternative provision also engage in the improvised pragmatism of micro-work—the work that other agencies won’t or can’t do, such as escorting parents to medical appointments, sourcing furniture to fill empty houses or talking a child out from under their bed. The article argues that family engagement in alternative provision is cyclical, with families informing staff of behavioural incidents or learning opportunities, information that rapidly personalises communicative and pedagogical strategies within schools. In return, teachers update parents at the end of the day, offering ideas for home learning or approaches to managing challenging behaviours. The article concludes by identifying six domains of family engagement—behavioural, emotional, safeguarding, functional, pedagogic and capacity building—that can be used within alternative provision settings to ensure a holistic approach that provides deep support to families to maximise the successful re-engagement of children.
CitationPage, D. (2020) Family engagement in alternative provision. British Educational Research Journal, 47(1), pp. 65–84.
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Wiley in British Educational Research Journal on 06/11/2020, available online: https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3692 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/