Reach met with a group of young people at risk of exclusion about how the Inclusion Unit at their school helped them keep learning.

The unit is for pupils who have been excluded from school or who are at risk of exclusion. The unit helps and supports them to either go back to school or stay at school.

Speaking from their own experiences, some of their advice includes:

“Change your behaviour right now because you’re not going to get anywhere in your life.”

“If you get excluded and you go into Inclusion and you come back out of it, it’s not like, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll get excluded again to get into Inclusion because it doesn’t work that way. And you’ll just get a bad reputation. A bad name to yourself. And if you be good, you’ll get more opportunities with teachers and they’ll look at you as a more sensible child instead of a daftie.”megaphone on pink background

“You miss out on so much. Usually when you’ve been excluded you go into the Unit and then it’s a difficult thing for some people because some people are not as open as other people. I would say to people not to do what they were going to do. Just to think about it before they done it because being excluded is really stupid. Just stay in school. Do what you have to do and just get your head down.”

“Get a different group of friends. Friends aren’t really friends if they’re getting you in trouble and getting you down the wrong path. And if you are going down that path and you don’t want to change your friends then really just knuckle down. Dinnae be the stupid one.”

Why might someone go to the Unit?
  1. “For bad behaviour in school like fighting, swearing at teachers, being aggressive towards others and loads of other things.”
  2. “If you’re getting bullied then you can go into the Inclusion Unit and they’ll try to avoid you from being bullied and help you out and talk to you about the bullying.”
  3. “If you’re not having good times in classes or at home.”
How much time you spend in the Unit?clock
  1. I’m only in 3 periods a week and there’s a drop-in thing at lunchtime and break time that you can go into.”
  2. It depends what you’ve been bad for. The most you get up for is 2 weeks and you start at 9 o’clock and finish at half three.”
  3. “You can be in full-time but only up to 2 weeks but the Unit’s not there to take you out of class on a long-term basis.”
What type of work do you do in the Unit?
  1. You finish your class work.
  2. You get inclusion activities like problem solving or drug and alcohol abuse information.
  3. If you need to talk about problems in or out of school then staff are there help you.
  4. If you’re in there for problems you can talk or just have a nice calming period and just sit and relax and talk.
What do you like best about coming to the Unit?
  1. “You can have a one-to-one sessions if you have any problems at home or if you’ve got any problems with someone else at school or the teachers then you can get it sorted out. That helps.”
  2. “Loads of my friends go there as well and we all just have good chats but it’s not like a youth club. You’re there for a reason and that’s to help you.”
  3. It’s more like you’re freely open to say what you want to say. Sometimes people feel more comfortable with not so many people in your classroom. You can be more open. More yourself.”
What’s the hardest bit about coming to the Unit?

Not knowing what to expect. When I first came into Inclusion I thought it would be a walk in the park but I got a big shock. I found out how it works.”

How would you say the Unit has really helped you?
  1. “Teaching me that the only thing that can help you is yourself.”Help Support Advice Guidance
  2. “I’ve grown up a bit more and now I could talk to teachers if I had a problem instead of taking it out on folk.”
  3. I had a lot of problems with skiving and I got put in the Inclusion Unit for a few days. It put out a sheet for me. After I came into Inclusion my behaviour changed and I wasn’t so much skiving anymore.”
  4. From first year to halfway through third, I was really wild. I didn’t really bother about school. You just get in trouble too much and then I was Inclusion. I was in for the wrong reasons and then I managed to change. I’m now in there as a mentor for the younger ones to show them and tell them how to behave.”


  1. megaphoneHow has the Inclusion Unit helped these pupils?
  2. Why is it important to have Inclusion Units in schools?
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