Despite the rhetoric of inclusion and equal participation, educational practices end up producing social exclusion. In this research, we are interested in practices where outcomes fail to match efforts with respect to students’ opportunities to participate equally. The research was carried out as a focused ethnography with young people who arrived in Finland as unaccompanied asylum-seeking youths. The results show that separated learning environments in school settings commonly exclude these young people socially from the rest of their peers. The research sheds light on how seemingly ‘innocent’, well-meaning practices form a mesh of exclusion, making inclusion and parity of participation practically impossible for students seeking asylum. © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2023.2287474
ISSN: 13603116