Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education


Faculty of Education

First Advisor

Dr. Norman Hyde


The problem at the centre of this research study was whether the educational provisions at the Western Australian Distance Education Centre met the special needs of those students who are classified as "at risk" and those who are excluded from Government schools on disciplinary grounds. Contextual data which related to these students, such as off-campus programs were examined also. The bounded case study was chosen as the research mode to investigate the problem. Distance Education Centre constituted the bounded case, and the Referral Program formed the unit of analysis. Data collection techniques included audio taped structured interviews with relevant personnel, structured and unstructured interviews with students, participant observation and the analysis of documents. Broadly, the research findings indicated the following. First, the document issued by the Ministry of Education outlining the steps in the exclusion process, needs to be reviewed. Second, the proliferation of off-campus programs provide cause for concern when the literature from overseas, has questioned the philosophical, social and educational basis of such programs. Third, the enrolment of miscreant students in a program that is designed for students learning in the distance mode is inappropriate.