Exploring the journey of young persons (YPs) from permanent exclusion to reintegration through a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU).

  • Chynna Owen

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


Background: Alternative provision (AP) for permanently excluded YPs of compulsory school age typically takes the form of pupil referral units (PRUs). PRUs ultimately aim to support and prepare YPs for a timely and successful reintegration to mainstream provision. Documented reintegration failures highlight a need for research that targets AP outcomes and informs reintegration practice. Methods/Participants: A systematic literature review (SLR) synthesises the existing research evidence regarding the reintegration experiences of YPs. Eight studies, including one international study, were critically appraised and synthesised following PRISMA guidelines. An empirical investigation, adopting an exploratory multiple case study methodology investigates stakeholders’ reintegration experiences within the local context through individual interviews. Preliminary interview data and reintegration documentation were additionally gathered. Analysis/Findings: The SLR identified three global themes: outcomes of reintegration; factors that support reintegration (facilitators); factors that limit reintegration success (barriers). The findings were configured into a chronological reintegration journey model. Paper Two provides a detailed overview of both case studies, with constant comparative thematic analysis findings presented. The findings lead to a discussion of the overarching commonalities and differences of the case studies and a reintegration model that builds upon the findings of Paper One. Conclusion/implications: Paper One considers implications for reintegration practice and provides recommendations for future research. Paper two considers the use of a reintegration practice framework in supporting practitioners involved within the reintegration journeys of YPs. Recommendations of approaches for addressing reintegration facilitators and barriers, considering the role of educational psychologists, are discussed with implications for future research. Paper Three discusses evidence-based practice in relation to the role of practitioner psychologists. Plans for dissemination of findings, and professional practice implications, are discussed.
Date of Award31 Dec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKevin Woods (Supervisor) & Caroline Bond (Supervisor)


  • alternative provision
  • mainstream
  • reintegration
  • pupil referral unit

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