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Ever had to exclude a student? An MP wants to hear about your experience

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by HouseOfCommons, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. HouseOfCommons

    HouseOfCommons New commenter

    • Have you ever had to exclude a student? What were the circumstances?
    • Are exclusions always a last resort, or are some schools too quick to exclude students?
    • What alternatives to exclusion would you like to see, if resources were available?
    On Wednesday 26 February, Sarah Jones MP is leading a Parliamentary debate on school exclusions. She will be drawing attention to the apparent increase in exclusions, the practice of 'off-rolling', and pressing the Government to increase funding for alternatives.

    She wants teachers’ perspectives to help shape her thinking on the issue, and inform the case she puts to a Government minister.

    Tell us about your experiences by midday on Tuesday 25 February and we will pass these on to her. She may quote and refer to your contributions during her speech.

    We will post links to watch the debate and read the transcript as soon as these are available.

    If you’d prefer to contribute privately, please do so here.

    About us: The Digital Engagement Team at the House of Commons work to give online communities a voice in Parliamentary debates. We are hoping to expand the work we do with the TES community in 2020. Please have a look at a summary of how we worked with Mumsnet in 2019.
     
  2. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Well you hit the nail on the head when you wrote " if resources were available". David Blunkett influenced policy based on his personal experience of a special school education and saw to the (cost cutting) result of the removal of many special schools which served as an often good and needed provision.

    I have seen a pupil permanently excluded as the other child he attacked had vocal and influential parents. Alternatively I have seen one child who remorseless bullied others (including stamping his booted foot onto the other child's head leaving an imprint), and who interrupted the learning of so many children unfortunate enough to be in lessons with him and no measures were put in place by the so called "Behaviour Manager". I have not experienced the issue of "Off-rolling"

    From personal experience my elder child suffered extensive bullying from a child whose designated secondary placement was to have been a special school place (one of those remaining); his parents though used their parental choice for him to attend main stream school from whence he continued his bullying and went on to deal quite successfully in marijuana. Both my children suffered a good deal of lesson disruption from pupils who the school did not deal with effectively. Why is it that hard- working, well-motivated children can have their learning and enjoyment of school spoiled by varying levels of poor behaviour from other children for whom there seems to be few effective sanctions?

    We need more Pupil Referral Units where children who find the expectations of larger secondary (and even primary) schools too difficult to comply with can be educated. We need to cover the gaps in the provision of mental health for children at these PRUs to help these children with increasing difficulties in school - either behavioural or emotional.

    Government needs to invest in the future of our young people and just throwing out platitudes and expectations onto very overworked state school teachers will not work. Serious thought needs to be given to whether the curriculum is appropriate for a growing number of children and far greater flexibility is needed. Basic numeracy and literacy skills are needed and then focus needs to be paid to skills and aptitudes that they do have or might find easier to develop than Michael Gove's love affair with Victorian English Literature.
     
  3. bajan

    bajan Occasional commenter

    So Sara wants teachers' perspective to help shape her thinking. The debate is next Wednesday, I Would have expected her to have asked for this information well before today.
     
  4. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    It isn't teachers who exclude students, it is headteachers.
    It is pretty unlikely that this particular question will be directly answerable by many of the readers in "Dilemmas" but if you reposted your question here, you'd hit your audience-
    https://community.tes.com/forums/headteachers.71/

    The fact of off-rolling is a step or two away from the fact of classroom practice.
     
  5. katykook

    katykook Occasional commenter

    This definitely. Permanent exclusion is just dealing with the symptoms. I taught in a secondary PRU and the students often came from chaotic backgrounds and areas of social deprivation where they saw belonging to a gang as a necessary form of self protection. There were a range of mental health problems with long waiting lists for CAMHS.
     
  6. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    I would suggest that the MP use her "special powers' and turn up at several schools across the country (unannounced, without telling her aides), with her CRB in her hand and spend a few days in 'require improvement' and 'special measures' schools.

    Follow a 'at risk' student, who may well be in the lower sets and have lunch, wander the school, meet the smokers and get a real feel.

    Of course, if she annonces her visits she will get prawn sandwiches.
     
  7. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    My first response was the same as that of @sbkrobson, that the headteacher authorises the exclusion.

    It depends on the school, as to whether they are quick to exclude or whether they try absolutely everything they can to work with the student and family, to keep them in school.

    The issue is appropriate resources and appropriate provision for a range of different needs and that requires a commitment to allocate those resources and to develop the provision red.required
     
    sbkrobson and phlogiston like this.
  8. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Good example of 'I will ask for answers to come to me instead of going out to find answers myself'.
     
    bajan and sbkrobson like this.
  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    If someone turn up out of the blue at your school Reception claiming they are an MP and had come to follow some children around for a few days you'd let them in?
     
    Bedlam3, phlogiston and Morninglover like this.
  10. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter


    I always thought (on the same grounds of child protection) that the "advice" to "go to a local school that is open" when snow closed your school, was ridiculous - I always had schools (usually, but not always, primary when I was secondary). The few times in my career I was snowed in, or my school was closed, I stayed at home! Nothing ever happened.
     
    Bedlam3 and agathamorse like this.
  11. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    As only Head Teachers can exclude a pupil, shouldn't this be in the Head Teachers' section?
     
  12. meggyd

    meggyd Lead commenter

    Similarly if someone came on an online chat room claiming to be House of Commons researcher asking for details of something that should be confidential would you reply? If this is genuine this is a very odd way of getting quantifiable evidence and data for an issue that is to be discussed next week. The MP concerned is a Labour one. Initially I suspected that the modus operandi of this particular researcher followed the new Cummings model.
     
  13. hs9981

    hs9981 Established commenter

    #alwayscummings

    MP's have a special badge, with an unique code (a bit like a barcode) on the back. It gives them access to level 2.b.ii(c) buildings.
     
    Bedlam3 likes this.
  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    It is a difficult balance. A school that tries everything they can to keep a student at risk of exclusion will inevitably have complaints from parents of other students who have their learning disrupted. A school that excludes quickly to protect the education (and possibly safety) of others faces criticism for being too quick to exclude.

    Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
     
  15. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I'll bite. What's "level 2.b.ii(c) building"?

    It doesn't give them access to schools though!
     
  16. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    MPs are totally out of touch with the real world and a few days in it would help but only a bit.
     
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Some say that about headteachers and a bit of shadowing pupils at risk of exclusion would help! ;)
     
    ajrowing and Marshall like this.
  18. Marshall

    Marshall Star commenter

    I can only speak of my experience - as a teaching head (2 days a week) I was at the 'chalk face' and knew exactly what was going on and the children involved. I only ever exluded three times in fifteen years - short term exclusions but I worked closely with colleagues at other, more challenging schools and we used to discuss this regularly.
     
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I wasn't thinking of you, nor headteachers like you, when I wrote my post.
     
    Jesmond12, agathamorse and Marshall like this.
  20. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Does seem like a major topic at the moment though. I have been asked to attend a county council meeting on Monday on the topic. It is a major issue in our county, apparently we are the least inclusive in the UK (which I believe).

    Not sure the council will enjoy what I have to say though... most of it is aimed at them, and almost none of it at central government!
     

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