Ex­clu­sions twice na­tional aver­age

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Front Page -

EF­FORTS are un­der way to en­cour­age schools in Hal­ton not to ex­pel pupils af­ter fig­ures re­vealed that the bor­ough’s chil­dren are more than twice as likely to be per­ma­nently ex­cluded than the na­tional aver­age with rea­sons over the last three years rang­ing from as­sault­ing teach­ers to hav­ing a gun.

Ed­u­ca­tion bosses are now look­ing at a raft of mea­sures aimed at tack­ling the is­sue in­clud­ing look­ing to spe­cial schools to learn lessons on how to han­dle be­hav­iour is­sues.

An ‘in­clu­sion con­fer­ence’ is also to take place on Oc­to­ber 17 along­side the launch of a be­havioural sup­port team.

A Hal­ton Coun­cil chil­dren, young peo­ple and fam­i­lies board re­port pub­lished last month said the rate of chil­dren be­ing re­moved from school be­cause of be­hav­iour is ‘un­ac­cept­ably high’.

The doc­u­ment’s au­thor noted a re­cent na­tional press ar­ti­cle which said ris­ing lev­els of per­ma­nent ex­clu­sions are due to pres­sures to boost exam re­sults.

Hal­ton’s drive to tackle the is­sue also fol­lows the July pub­li­ca­tion of the House Of Com­mons Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mit­tee’s re­port ‘For­got­ten chil­dren: al­ter­na­tive pro­vi­sion and the scan­dal of ever in­creas­ing ex­clu­sions’, which said a rise in ‘zero tol­er­ance’ be­hav­iour poli­cies is re­sult­ing in pupils be­ing re­moved due to in­ci­dents that should be ‘man­aged in a main­stream school’.

The bor­ough’s rate of per­ma­nent ex­clu­sions in 2016-17 was 0.46, more than dou­ble the 0.2 aver­age for Eng­land and greater than the 0.31 aver­age for the North West.

In Hal­ton, most cases of pupils be­ing re­moved oc­cur dur­ing Years 9 and 10, but ex­clu­sions are also on the rise among Hal­ton’s pri­mary schools.

The most com­mon rea­son is ‘per­sis­tent dis­rup­tive be­hav­iour’ with 45 cases in three years), fol­lowed by 26 ex­clu­sions for ver­bal abuse or threats against an adult, 15 re­lated to drugs or al­co­hol, 13 for as­saults on other pupils, then nine for as­saults on an adult.

Pos­ses­sion of a knife ac­counted for four cases, while hav­ing ‘a gun’ was recorded in one case.

Sex­ual mis­con­duct and sex­ting were the rea­sons given for two per­ma­nent ex­clu­sions.

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