Our school: our space – inclusion and young people’s experiences of space within an English secondary free school

Clara Joergensen, Julie Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


This paper reports on the findings from a study based in England, within a new school that opened its doors to students in August 2015. The school, established under relatively recent UK legislation as a ‘Free School’, set out to be inclusive, aiming to achieve this through its architecture and design, admissions policy, mixed attainment class organisation and inclusive teaching practices. The research project tracked the school’s growth and examined the extent to which itdeveloped as an inclusive school. One key strand of the research involved photovoice with young people. Photographs within the school, taken by the young people were used as the basis for interviews about their school and their space and to explore social relations and inclusion/exclusion at the school. Findings emphasise that children and young people’s lived experiences of different school spaces may not always coincide with the ideas of the adults who initially conceived them, and furthermore illustrate the importance of acknowledging children and young people’s diverse needs and preferences in order to construct the school as an inclusive space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(in press)
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Volume(in press)
Early online date24 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2022

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.


  • Inclusion
  • space
  • free schools
  • photovoice


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