Museums and galleries, having received increased funding to engage in their programmes young people who have traditionally been excluded by museums, are under pressure to demonstrate the impact of the programmes they offer. This paper drawing on a three-year Participatory Action Research (PAR) programme explores the hidden tensions that underpin the notion of young people's inclusion in museums. First it considers the reasons for adopting the PAR approach and presents its key principles. Then it reflects on the research processes and discusses the findings to provide an insight into the quality of the experiences offered to young people. It argues that there is an implicit deficiency perception of youth and suggests the use of PAR as a response both to the need for a deeper notion of inclusion and for research that values young people's voices.