Great Expectations
: A longitudinal case study of pupils in an inner-city secondary school in a ‘high-NEET’ Local Authority in England

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This study focuses on secondary school pupils in an inner-city area in which young people are at high risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) after leaving school. It was an ESRC CASE Studentship undertaken in collaboration with the Local Authority in which the school is located. The study explores these pupils’ aspirations for education, work and life over a 4-year period. It is located within a comparative case study paradigm, comparing pupils deemed by their school to be at either high or low risk of becoming NEET, using a mixed methods approach encompassing focus groups, survey and participant observation. The interplay between environment, behaviour and personal aspects is explored through the lens of Social Cognitive Theory. The study places these young people’s voices at the centre in the belief that their experiences and aspirations may illuminate current debates and add to the sparse literature on young people at risk of becoming NEET. This is an essential piece of the NEET ‘jigsaw’.
Date of Award1 Apr 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorDiana Coben (Supervisor), Jill Hohenstein (Supervisor), Meg Maguire (Supervisor) & Jeremy Hodgen (Supervisor)

Cite this