This article examines the workings of informal exclusion units located within British secondary schools. Although articulated in terms of inclusion and support such initiatives effectively work to remove students regarded as troublesome from mainstream classrooms. Drawing on ethnographic research in three inner-city schools we show how a therapeutic ethos governs activities within the units. A focus on developing personal skills is maintained in an effort to compensate for the perceived shortcomings of parents and wider communities. As we demonstrate, this reasoning drives a culturally intolerant approach concealed within a broader commitment to multicultural values. While notions of diversity are celebrated within the schools, issues of race and racism are routinely avoided, ensuring that institutionally ingrained patterns of discrimination remain unchanged.