Dozens of pupils with special needs permanently excluded from school

More than 100 children with special needs were permanently excluded from Sheffield schools in the past two years.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 11:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 4:33 pm
Coun Abtisam Mohamed
Coun Abtisam Mohamed

A total of 113 children with special educational needs or disabilities were told to leave school, although Sheffield Council says it has reduced permanent exclusions against the national trend.

Lib Dem councillor Mike Levery asked: “How many children in Sheffield schools with SEND have been permanently excluded in 2017/18 and to date in 2018/19 and what is this as a proportion of all permanent exclusions?”

Coun Abtisam Mohamed, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “During 2017/18 there were 58 (39.7 per cent) and during 2018/19 there were 55 (47.8 per cent) children with some identified special educational needs or disability who were permanently excluded from Sheffield schools.

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“In Sheffield we have managed to reduce permanent exclusions in the last two years, against the national trend.

“In partnership with our schools, we are targeting more resources at supporting children identified as at risk of permanent exclusion and much of this is targeted towards children with additional needs.”

Coun Levery also asked how many children had Education Health and Care Plans in place at the time of exclusion.

Coun Mohamed replied: “At the point of exclusion, one child had an EHCP and seven were under assessment for an EHCP.

“We understand the pressures across the system and must continue to do what we can to ensure that all pupils with SEND are accessing the support they need to be successful in their current school.”

During 2017/18 there were 146 children in total permanently excluded from school. Of these, 18 had never had an intervention from the Multi Agency Support Team (MAST).

In 128 cases, there had been some previous intervention and 16 were being supported by MAST at the time of the exclusion.

Of the 155 children excluded in 2018/19 to date, 28 have never had any MAST intervention. There were 87 cases where there had been some previous intervention and seven children were being supported by MAST at the time of exclusion.

Coun Mohamed added: “We are beginning to work with schools to develop preventative approaches to behavioural issues and developing resilience at secondary age to reduce the number of exclusions in the city.”