© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The processes of educational exclusion are multiple and diverse. Research has shown that exclusion from school goes far beyond access. It is associated with crucial issues related to educational processes (belonging, recognition or representation) and results (knowledge or certificates). The objective of this article is to delve into the analysis of factors in educational exclusion, including the voice of the youth, as a key element in understanding these factors. The article begins with a literature review addressing the meaning, mechanisms and profiles of educational exclusion. It then presents qualitative fieldwork, consisting of six focus groups of young people (aged 14–24) who have been excluded from mainstream educational institutions in Barcelona, Spain. The results of the empirical analysis point to four critical elements in the process of educational exclusion as experienced by the youth: educational transitions; the role of teachers; the impact of grouping practices and disciplinary mechanisms; and the contrast between mainstream educational institutions and alternative learning arenas. By including the voice of the youth, the article provides a better understanding of the factors contributing to educational exclusion so as to advance in the construction of an educational system able to guarantee students’ right to learn and succeed in school.
- social class