A NEET Solution? Addressing issues of Social Justice through an education project for marginalised youth delivered through Premiership Rugby Clubs

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


This paper reports on a project funded by Premiership Rugby and delivered through all 12 Premiership Rugby clubs to 3,000 NEET young people annually. The programme is focussed on personal skills, life skills, employability skills, and positive progression and seeks to raise aspirations and develop individual capacity. As an alternative – and anecdotally successful - approach to the support of NEET young people it has particular relevance in terms of addressing issues of social justice at a time when structural changes to the youth labour market have had the most significant impact on the most marginalised young people.

Research Focus
This project utilises a mixed methods approach which includes analysis of documentary evidence such as learning materials; analysis of statistical data associated with outcomes and progression for young people, and interviews with the young people and the HITZ officers who work with them. It seeks to identify the extent to which the HITZ audience are the most marginalised young people, to examine, evidence ad quantify the broader societal value of HITZ, and, in terms of addressing issues of marginalisation and social in/justice, to identify which interventions work, with whom, why and in relation to young people with chaotic factors

Theoretical Framework
The paper is conceptualised within the body of literature exploring the lives and experiences of NEET young people, including work by Keep, (2009); Simmons and Thompson, (2011); and Pemberton, (2012); issues of policy (Simmons, 2008; Wolf, 2011) and work addressing issues of intersectionality which impact significantly on NEET young people (e.g. MacDonald and Marsh, 2005; Shildrick et al, 2012; Mirza-Davies, 2015). The paper also draws on work exploring the primary importance of leisure in the lives of young people (e.g. see Ball et al, 2000, Atkins, 2009), as well as on research by Feinstein et al (2006) and by Haudenhuyse et al (2012) which suggests that structured leisure activities, such as taking part in clubs or sports ‘correlates with less social exclusionary outcomes at a later age’.

Whilst there is a considerable body of literature exploring the lives and experiences of young people who are NEET, there is limited empirical evidence to inform particular interventions or educational approaches. This project contributes to addressing that gap in our understanding and to a move towards more socially just and effective forms of education for marginalised young people.

Period6 Sept 2017
Event titleBritish Education Research Association (BERA) Annual Conference
Event typeConference
LocationBrightonShow on map