20 Jan 2015

BBC/OU Series Reveals the Real Life of Pupils Excluded from School

Excluded: Kicked out of School

Excluded: Kicked out of School

A new hard-hitting BBC 3 documentary series co-produced by BBC and The Open University (OU) captures daily life in a school for pupils who have been permanently excluded.

Excluded: Kicked out of School is a three-part documentary series starting today (9.00pm BBC3) which was filmed at The Bridge AP Academy, one of the UK’s biggest secondary alternative provision (AP) academies.

The Bridge Academy provides full-time education to pupils who have been permanently excluded or moved from mainstream education from across West London. The reasons for exclusion are mostly due to behaviour issues. Pupils who arrive at the school frequently struggle with levels of literacy and numeracy.

Shot over the course of a school year, the documentary relied heavily on developing trust with the children and is filmed from their perspective. It includes some of the most challenging pupils who are given the chance to get their lives back on track.

The documentary also looks at life from the perspective of the teachers at The Bridge Academy, filming them walking along corridors with walkie-talkies or diffusing fights as they try to keep their pupils out of trouble and on course to achieve their GCSEs. Viewers also learn the reasons why the schoolchildren do not engage with learning, with many behaviour issues masking traumatic personal experiences.

The OU’s academic consultants on the film were Dr Kieron Sheehy and Sheila Curran, from the Faculty of Education & Language Studies, who provided expert knowledge around the issues of exclusion and Pupil Referral Units like The Bridge.

Dr Kieron Sheehy, Senior Lecturer in FELS said: "The series portrays the real issues faced by both schools and pupils in what is a very challenging area of education. I think people will learn a lot from understanding the experiences of the young people involved."

Clare Paterson, BBC Commissioning Editor, said: “The kids shine through in this series. As a viewer you want them to succeed and you get to see how important it is that they do.”

The OU’s OpenLearn has a wealth of information and resources in connection with the series, including an online discussion hub covering topics and questions arising from the series.. For further information : click here
(Please note: this URL may not be live until the day of transmission, and may only contain minimum content and resources if viewed prior to broadcast.)

Excluded: Kicked out of School (3x30) was commissioned by Clare Paterson for the BBC. The Executive Producer is Katie Buchanan, for KEO Films. The Series was commissioned for The Open University by Dr Caroline Ogilvie, Head of Broadcast. The University’s Academic Consultants for the programmes were Dr Kieron Sheehy and Sheila Curran, in Faculty of Education & Language Studies.


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