There was a total of 43 students that faced this punishment in the borough last year, which is a dramatic rise from two years prior, where only ten students were permanently excluded.
The decision of the student’s future relies on the headteacher and if they feel the student is suitable to continue at their school. Vicky Wales, Head of Children, Young people and Learning for the Borough of Poole, proposed how: “the Local Authority and Poole secondary schools have been working in partnership to look at the reasons for this and strategies aimed at reducing the number of exclusions across the borough.
The Quay School, our alternative provision academy, has devised an early intervention project which is already having a positive impact on the numbers of pupils who have been permanently excluded this academic year.”
Poole Councillor, Mark Howell has expressed his concerns about the number of exclusions in the poole area, he indicated how: “the council accepts that there is a problem, and works with the headmaster of schools to understand what the problems are.”
It was reported last week by Ofsted that Poole Grammar School needs serious improvement as they are in the bottom rankings for Key Stage 2 in the country for 11 year olds. Mark Howell continued to express: “We’ve had some of the worst results for primary schools, so the education system in Poole is a real mess.
The council hasn’t made an effort to find out what the causes are. I’m worried about the system, and I think the expulsion stats are probably a symptom of wider cause. Either way, there’s a problem and I suspect that they are not getting good enough teaching staff in schools and there’s also a shortage of teachers in the area.”
Exclusions become immediately effective on the day given, but parents are not required to pick up the student before the end of the school day.
Once a student is suspended or receives a permanent exclusion, they are not allowed to be seen in a public place for the first five school days. If a student is noticed, parents can be fined up to £2,500 by local authorities, or it can also result in a prison sentence for up to three months.
While speaking to a parent from Branksome Heath Junior School, it became apparent that they felt exclusions can help with the crackdown on students bad behaviour and prevent them from disrupting other classmates. They also commented suggesting: “there have been quite a few kids [excluded] and schools have been more assertive with families that won’t take responsibility for their children, and that’s good.”
During 2014-2015, 18 exclusions were a result of disruptive behaviour. Other causes included 7 physical assaults against an adult, and 6 drug and alcohol related issues.
All permanently excluded students receive education in an appropriate environment to fit their particular needs, they are also kept under a regular review to ensure they are comfortable and behaving as expected.
LISTEN to Joe Bett’s interview with Poole Councillor, Mark Howell in full: