Evaluation of Inclusion Plus

Launched in October 2013, Inclusion Plus was a Public Social Partnership initiative designed to help reduce school exclusions in a set of schools in Dundee. It was an innovative multi-agency project based on the Public Social Partnership model (PSP). Government and others see the PSP model as a strategic partnering arrangement actively involving the third sector in the design and commissioning of public services.

The aim of the evaluation report was two-fold:

  • to evidence the impact of the Inclusion Plus project on the levels of school exclusion in Dundee, while assessing the contributions of each partner organisation to this process
  • to evaluate the success of the Public Social Partnership model in terms of improving partnership working at the service and funding levels

The evaluation findings from both Years One and Two suggested that there are certain factors in successful partnership working that are more important than others, but this should not be used to ignore the complex and multi-faceted nature of school exclusions at the local level. And the complexities attached to the Inclusion Plus initiative should not be underestimated. This was an initiative that has brought together three distinct agencies with their own ways of working and introduced them into four very different school settings that each bring with them a set of challenging strategic and operational issues.

The main conclusions to be drawn from the second year of Inclusion Plus were:

  • Individually, the three agencies have proved a successful addition to the 4 schools
  • Collectively, as ‘Inclusion Plus’, they have not delivered an effective working partnership
  • Partnerships between agencies and four schools have been more effective and productive that the public social partnership

The agencies that comprise Inclusion Plus have been a valuable and effective addition to the four schools. They provide a complementary service to the schools which in the main is appreciated by school professionals, pupils and their parents. However, it is rarely the case that initiatives like Inclusion Plus are fortunate enough to start with a blank slate, and this was certainly not the case here. There were already existing professional relationships and sets of working practices that had been established over time. The agencies of Inclusion Plus have found that it takes time to build their own sets of relationships on top of these, a factor that impacts on their ability to work as an effective partnership.

PI and Co-Is

PI - Dr Mark Murphy - University of Glasgow, School of Education

Co-PIs - Professor Chris Chapman, Kevin LowdenStuart Hall - University of Glasgow, School of Education

Start and End Date


Funder and funding amount

Robertson Trust