More than 180 pupils excluded from schools in Shropshire and Mid Wales

More than 180 pupils have been expelled from the region’s schools over the past two years, new figures have revealed.

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Statistics, which have been obtained by the Shropshire Star under a Freedom of Information request, shows that 181 schoolchildren in primary and secondary schools in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Powys were permanently excluded between 2014 up to the February half term.

Shropshire had the highest number of expulsions with 105 pupils permanently excluded during that period. In Telford, 47 pupils were expelled, while in Powys the figure stands at 29.

In the academic year 2014-15, 19 secondary school pupils and one primary school pupil in Telford were permanently excluded, in Powys eight secondary school and one primary school pupil was expelled.

Shropshire Council provided their breakdown in the standard 12-month year, rather than academic year, and revealed that 20 secondary school pupils and 15 primary school age children were permanently excluded in 2014.

While in the academic year 2015-16, schools two of our three regions saw a drop in the number of expulsions, with 13 secondary school and six primary school age students in Telford expelled , and in Powys, only 11 secondary school age pupils were permanently excluded.

In 2015 in Shropshire, 31 secondary school students and 13 primary school pupils were expelled.

The latest figures – 2016 -17 up to February half term, reveal that four secondary and four primary school pupils were expelled in Telford, while in Powys six secondary school and three primary school pupils were expelled.

Shropshire Council only provided figures for 2016, which showed 20 secondary school pupils were permanently excluded, as well as six primary age children.

All councils declined to directly comment, stating that the decision to exclude temporarily or permanently is made by individual schools not the county council, and although councils are informed of a case, it is down to the head teacher to manage the situation locally.

A spokesman for Powys County Council said they have more than 7,000 secondary school students and nearly 8,000 primary pupils, and said permanent exclusions are not a problem in Powys, having one of the lowest rates in the country.

He said the decision to exclude pupils usually followed a breach of the school’s code of conduct – all schools have to have one as part of their national curriculum – exclusions have to follow strict guidelinesGovernment information states the decision to exclude a learner is usually taken by a headteacher in response to “serious breaches” of the school’s behaviour policy or if allowing the learner to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the learner or others in the school.

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Comments for: "More than 180 pupils excluded from schools in Shropshire and Mid Wales"

Roger

There is an unpublished and hidden alternative to permanent exclusion which is transfer to pupil referral units and increasingly transfer to alternative providers. In both cases the child is removed from the school premises and becomes invisible to inspectors. The Pupil Referral Units are subject to inspection but has been found to have a remarkable propensity to involve year eleven students who then do not then count toward School examination statistics.

Alternative providers is a new feature, These are places outside the school system where schools can send difficult students full time so they are off the school premises. The Alternative provider has been found to offer no more than foundation level Maths and English and some have avoided registration with OFSTED. So they are not inspected as educational establishments. Transfer to such a provider effectively ends education and the students are effectively baby sat for the duration of their academic time.

Used properly alternative providers are a very useful adjunct to the education system providing different specialist places on part and full time education on specialist subjects. But misused are a way of avoiding permanent exclusion but still removing students from the main stream school. How long they will last in misuse is an interesting question. OFSTED are onto these establishments but they do have seek them out if unregistered. They want to find them because so many are not meeting the minimum education required by law and are not developing children to their full potential. In theory the students are still on the parent school role but any inspector would have to seek them out to identify the practice. It should be said that the parent school does have retained responsibility for the education of the student and a requirement to quality control the alternative provider so it's case of how long they get away with it or how well the alternative providers can can come up to the required standards. I think it's fair to say that the situation had not been pursued for the period this article is reporting on. It was hidden. Probably the only way to find out about them is through OFSTED on progress to hunt these situations down.

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