Major advances have taken place in the education system nationally and internationally over recent years, yet one of the enduring challenges facing policy makers and practitioners alike is that of social and educational inclusion in its broadest context. Professionals and politicians continue to seek solutions to the challenges presented by disaffected and disengaged young people with a view to enhancing their participation in education and training.

Social and educational inclusion has long been an important area for much of the research and evaluation exercised undertaken by members of staff and students in the Department of Education and Childhood. This has been further stimulated through much emphasis at a local and regional level where education authorities as well as voluntary services and organisations have instigated initiatives to sustain or re-engage reluctant learners. Recent work includes the evaluation of several imaginative expressive arts projects designed to re-engage young people; school truancy and absenteeism and support for student teachers and tutors wishing to refine knowledge and understanding of emotional and mental health of young people. These are reported on in more detail below:

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