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A sports-based intervention for pupils excluded from mainstream education: A systems approach to intervention acceptability and feasibility

Brinkley, Andrew and Sherar, Lauren and Kinnafick, Florence (2022) 'A sports-based intervention for pupils excluded from mainstream education: A systems approach to intervention acceptability and feasibility.' Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 61. p. 102217. ISSN 1469-0292

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Pupil referral units educate young people excluded from mainstream education within England, UK. Exclusion is related to reduced continuation with education and training, unemployment, and an increased likelihood of entrance into the criminal justice system. Sport has been consistently used to improve reintegration into education. However, evidence surrounding sports interventions in this setting is sparse and/or lacks detail surrounding acceptability and feasibility. Systems-based approaches highlight the complexity of multi-component interventions. The current study aimed to independently evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a co-produced sport-based intervention. The intervention used sport, mentorship, education, reflection, and role models to promote health, pro-social, behavioural, and educational outcomes. Conducted in one local authority pupil referral unit within the midlands, England, a sample of 38 pupils (n = 3 females), five support staff, eight teachers, eight mentors and three stakeholders participated in the evaluation. The intervention was evaluated through a multi-method approach which incorporated observation, interviews, visual methods, a pre-experimental study, and examination of school-level data. Data were analysed through an iterative process framed through inductive reasoning, and descriptive statistics. Layers of data were triangulated to produce a systems-map. Within a complex system of social networks and individual differences, the intervention components interacted to influence pupil health and behaviour. Findings suggested that sport is an acceptable and feasible conduit to support mentorship. Participation in sport can mitigate some challenges to engaging in reflection, education, and identifying role models. Challenges relating to acceptability and feasibility could be improved through adopting a robust co-production process beyond simple design centred ‘co-creation’, consideration of emotional and health literacy of pupil cohorts, and deliberation of the factors which shape long-term implementation and sustainability. Research should understand the extent to which our systems-map is replicable in a range of settings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alternative provision; Complex; Exclusion; Intervention mapping; Pupil referral unit
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 May 2022 16:22
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 12:26

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