In my role as teacher or researcher, I was asked to evaluate the provision of an alternative curriculum for students who were at risk of exclusion at our school. Multiple perspectives needed to be considered including the voices of the staff and students. The use of a mixed-methods convergent design allowed the selection and combination of both qualitative and quantitative data sources. A thematic analysis was employed to answer the research questions: ‘how are pupils at HSSC referred to alternative curriculum provision and what is considered a successful outcome? How do staff and students construct the path to re-integration to mainstream school or other onward pathways?’ The study design and the application of the results were informed by my pragmatist worldview which allowed me to place equal value on both qualitative and quantitative data, to report my assumptions with transparency and recognise that the results of the study as the starting point for future cycles of action and reflection.