The Difference regularly comments on press stories on school exclusion, the alternative provision sector and working with vulnerable pupils. If you are a journalist with an enquiry, get in touch.
For press enquiries or comment contact: Kiran Gill 07525622651
Tes profiles Dave Whitaker who loves teaching 'challenging kids' and believes alternative provision can help mainstream schools manage behaviour
‘My dad died when I was 11. I was very close to my mum and still am but I appreciated going to an all through school where I had consistency.
I remember once, we were in woodwork, I just couldn’t get something right. I got so upset about it, I could tell at some point the teacher was getting irritated that I wasn’t able to get this simple thing. Then she noticed that I was really upset, she must have known about my dad, she picked me up and sat me on her lap. She gave me the biggest, longest hug and just let me cry. I was in Year 6.’
Rachel Sylvester from The Times discussing the importance of strong regulation, fuller timetables and quality teaching at APs. Rachel also gives a mention to the Difference leaders programme, recognising the important work some of our Leaders from our pioneering cohort will be doing in AP’s this year.
As concern mounts about ‘zero-tolerance’ in schools, teachers are lining up to learn a different approach.
Spend on private alternative provision (AP) has rocketed by almost £7 million in the past three years, with councils sending more vulnerable pupils to settings that are not inspected by Ofsted or registered with the government.
The prevalence of knife crime shows how vulnerable young people are slipping through the cracks, says Shaun Brown
“As arguments rage over knife crime, I’ve seen a school where troubled young people are turning their life around” says Gaby Hinsliff.
We must look again at how we protect the many young people at risk of being dragged into violent crime, says Shaun Brown
‘At Redthread, we see youth violence as a health issue which, therefore, should be treated in the same way as a disease. This must start with an analysis of the causes, before going on to diagnose the problem, look at what works to treat the symptoms and develop solutions. Permanently excluding young people from school is not the root cause of why some become involved in violence, however their behaviour in school should be viewed as a symptom of the challenges they face and the vulnerabilities they experience. ‘
A large comprehensive in south-east London has spent the past five years developing systems to proactively prevent exclusions by embedding inclusive practice throughout the school.