The ‘ghettoization’ of NEET and ‘disengaged’ youth in a further education (FE) college

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


At first glance, the physical design of a setting ostensibly seems routine and neutral. However, it tends to powerfully govern who goes where and who can access certain places. Much of the literature on exclusion within education settings often overlook this significance. This paper therefore seeks to rectify this by examining exclusion by design and allocation of physical space at The Site, a fictional name used for the large general further education (FE) college in England’s East Region. Adopting a case study approach over two academic years (2013–2015), qualitative research was undertaken with seven tutors and twenty-six so-called NEET and disengaged youth. Drawing on Wacquant’s theoretical concept of the ghetto, my key findings demonstrated territorial exclusion by design: this employability course was delivered in Q-Block, a temporary prefabricated building positioned out of sight and primarily used to deliver programmes for disabled, mature and disengaged youth on the fringes of education. This article concludes that, whilst existing research on policy and outcomes is useful in understanding the negative educational outcomes of stigmatised youth, a sharper focus is needed on wider social processes and exclusionary continuities in seeking to elucidate how governance processes contribute to their social and spatial marginalisation in education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthics in Education
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Perspectives on Research, Pedagogy and Leadership
EditorsCarla Solvason, Geoffrey Elliott
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherEthics Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-871891-42-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-871891-41-6
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2023


  • Ethics
  • Education
  • NEET (not in education, employment or training)

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