A need to belong?: The prevalence of experiences of belonging and exclusion in school among minority ethnic children living in the 'White hinterlands'

Andy Biggart*, Liam O'Hare, Paul Connolly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


Based on a survey of 711 children in Northern Ireland, this paper explores a range of aspects of experiences of belonging and exclusion in relation to school among three main minority ethnic groups: Irish Traveller, Chinese/Asian and European Migrant children. The study examines variations between each group and how they compare to the White settled population. The findings indicate that all three groups experience lower levels of belonging and higher levels of exclusion compared to their White, settled Northern Irish peers. The experiences of Irish Traveller children were the most negative. The article adds to the dearth of data on minority ethnic children living in mainly white regions in the UK and Ireland. It argues for the need to move beyond achievement gaps in assessing minority ethnic children’s differential experiences in education and highlights the potential of belongingness as a concept for the further study of differential patterns of need and processes of inclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-195
Number of pages17
JournalIrish Educational Studies
Issue number2
Early online date04 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 04 Feb 2013


  • ethnicity, belonging, exclusion, Traveller, Chinese, migrant.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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