Abstract Schools are now urged to make every child matter. In this paper we present the case of the Coalfields Alternatives to Exclusion (CATE) strategy in which pupils at risk of permanent exclusion are offered the opportunity to start afresh in a new school. Without the stigma of exclusion, pupils are able to develop new relationships with peers and teachers and enhance self-esteem. We argue that this system of managed moves, despite some difficulties and challenges, offers an insight into the ways in which feelings of mattering can be translated into new behaviours and intentions. This we suggest provides pupils with a positive opportunity to resume their education and to be genuinely included in the life of their new school.
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