Your recent article regarding school exclusions tries to have it both ways – and fails.
On the one hand it states that exclusions are a measure of last resort, and on the other complains that this last resort is being implemented.
Academies are run and staffed by professional staff who have the same qualifications and outlooks as those from authority-maintained schools, and presumably have to deal with the same issues of student behaviour.
Could it possibly be that these exclusions are merited?
Perhaps the academies are implementing the rules correctly, and taking the appropriate action.
The article doesn’t even tell us on what basis the exclusions are made and whether or not there is a difference between the policies of Academies and the Local Authority Schools.
I would also hazard a guess that the figures include many pupils who are excluded multiple times before their exclusion becomes permanent.
The 5,690 exclusions in one year, does not equate to 5,690 individuals.
It says 96 students were permanently excluded – how many fixed period exclusions did they rack up between them during this period?
Although schools have, to some degree, a social responsibility, they are not, and should not become, a social service.
They are primarily centres of learning and if violent and disruptive students prevent the learning from taking place, then of course they should be excluded.
There can be many interventions on bad behaviour before exclusion is even contemplated.
Louise Haigh tells us how exclusion can be damaging to those it affects, but makes no mention of the damage that violent and disruptive students can do to those in school who want to be there to learn.
She would do well to focus some of her ire on the appalling behaviour of students that leads to their exclusion.
I won’t hold my breath.