Gender and exclusion from school
The ‘New Labour’ government has indicated its desire to tackle social exclusion and it is evident that school exclusions are one of the earliest points at which pupils become detached from the mainstream. Attention has turned to the fact that not only is exclusion from school increasing, but that far more boys than girls are excluded from school. When this is acknowledged in the literature, it tends to be through a focus on the majority boys and rarely on the smaller but still significant numbers of girls excluded. This chapter will focus on disciplinary exclusion from school as a gendered process through a discussion of findings from a recent Scottish research project on ‘Exclusion from School and Alternatives’. It will show that exclusionary processes in Scotland are similarly gendered although this aspect may not often be explicitly recognised or considered by the participants in the process. There is very considerable variation between schools in the proportion of girls excluded, pointing to a complex pattern of gendered construction of deviance and raising questions about the relationship between gender and school ethos. The chapter suggests the usefulness of comparative research on the impact of different policies and practice in varied cultural contexts north and south of the border.