The focus here will be on how experiences of educational marginalisation frame and inform young people's understandings of their opportunities and prospects and how administered ‘inclusion’ forecloses a sense of possibility. In the context of financial turbulence and austerity there has been growing anxiety over the high numbers of young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs). The chapter examines how this concern shaped activities in the behaviour support units and how attendees’ hopes, fears and anticipated strategies for constructing a liveable future were often in tension with institutional practices. In particular, the central importance young people accorded to a highly idealised concept of education as a virtuous, but often unattainable pathway will be explored and contrasted with Paul Willis’ classic 1970s study of counter school culture, ‘Learning to Labour’. The chapter will argue that the contemporary drive to diagnose and segregate troublesome pupils has replaced the struggle for symbolic and physical space characterising Willis’s study with a more basic struggle to claim any entitlement at all to educational space.