New units to be built at Rotherham schools in bid to reduce exclusion rates

Efforts are being made to reduce exclusion rates in schools in Rotherham
Efforts are being made to reduce exclusion rates in schools in Rotherham
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Specialist units are to be built at schools across Rotherham in a bid to slow down exclusion rates.

Rotherham Council said permanent exclusion rates in secondary schools almost trebled between 2012 and 2016.

The council's cabinet has made £180,000 available for schools to improve their buildings for the provision of Special Education Needs and Disability services.

It is hoped that new units will help schools deal with issues before they lead to students getting excluded.

Councillor Gordon Watson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services at Rotherham Council, said: “It is often the case that children with social, emotional and mental health issues also exhibit poor behaviour patterns.

"But we need to be forward thinking and look at what the causes are of these issues and how we can help treat these children within therapeutic settings so they can integrate back into mainstream education.

“By excluding them we are simply not fulfilling our duty of care to allow all children access to the same education in their locality. That is why we are recommending this money is spent creating pupil friendly spaces to aid a more nurturing approach to this issue.

“There are few options within Rotherham for young people who find engagement challenging, that school leaders often report feeling exclusion is the only response they can make. Our proposal will give schools other options so that needs can be met on a more proportionate remit, without having to resort to exclusion.”