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EBD Special School Heads and Chairs

Discussion in 'Governors' started by ferrisbueller, Jun 15, 2012.

  1. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    I have just taken on the Chair of Governors at an 11-16 Special School for EBSD children. Whilst I am an experienced school Governor, I have no previous experience of EBSD and there are a number of questions that I have about what to expect, what is normal and what is not...
    1. as an EBSD when is it appropriate to 'permanently exclude' a child?
    2. are there children whose needs exceed even those of an EBSD special school? what are their needs? Can one size fit all for these very complex children?
    3. what is acceptable behaviour from staff when dealing with the children?
    4. when is it appropriate to use isolation units and restraining?
    5. has anyone got exprience of an EBD school that is an academy? How does that work?

  2. bobbycatrules

    bobbycatrules New commenter

    I work in a PRU. I'm not sure you should be using isolation units- do you mean seclusion units? If so the child must not be locked in a place- they must be able to get out if they want to. In terms of restraining, the law is very woolly about this. Generally restraining can be used to prevent harm to self, others and property. You can do training on this- I have done some. The key rules are that restraining must not hurt the child, it must not prevent them from breathing and the restraint technique must not be able to be interpreted as 'sexual' e.g. the restrainer touching the child's bottom with a part of their own body etc.
    'Acceptable behaviour from staff' will be set out in the school's own policies and if staff have done approved restraint training, they will be certified to carry out safe restraints as per the training. My school has a positive relationship policy which sets out how staff are to build positive relationships with the children- 'acceptable behaviour from staff' is largely the same as is expected in a mainstream school.
  3. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I'm Vice-Chair at an EBD Special School, and I agree with bobbycatrules. In principle a pupil at an EBD school can be permanently excluded the same as a pupil at a mainstream school. The law and statutory guidance on permanent exclusion draws no distinction between mainstream and special schools, although bear in mind the statutory guidance does have a lot to say about excluding pupils with a Statement of SEN and I assume that all pupils at your school will have a SSEN for EBD naming your school. In practice permanent exclusion from an EBD special school is uncommon. As the HT at mine says, we are a specialist school that exists for the sole purpose of dealing with young people from difficult backgrounds with the most challenging behaviour, if we have to permanently excluded we have failed. We've only permanently excluded once in 10 years, for a pupil who became an arsonist and repeatedly tried to burn the school down - too much of a risk to H&S of everyone else.
    I'm sure that your school will have a well-developed policy and procedures for restraining and physical intervention. It's essential in an EBD special school. All staff will have regular training and refresher training. There are a number of training programmes that EBD schools use - one called Team Teach is a popular one, look up its website to get a flavour for what it covers. Restraint and intervention is not an uncommon event in an EBD school and all incidents should be recorded in a 'physical handling' book or similar. However, if restraint is very frequent it would suggest to me that something in the school's approach to behaviour isn't working properly and as the new Chair I'd be asking questions.
    EBD/SEBD schools are not all identical, some have specialisms for working with pupils with particluar types of EBD/SEBD, so if your school is unable to cope with a particular pupil it may be that another special school could be a better setting. I suppose there are young people whose needs cannot be met by any special school but I couldn't say what happens to them.

  4. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    Hi Rott Weiler,
    thanks so much, your comments are really helpful and give me plenty to think about.

  5. ferrisbueller

    ferrisbueller New commenter

    Thanks Bobbycatrules.

    I really like the idea of a positive relationship policy - do you know where I could find an example of one?


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