As concern mounts about ‘zero-tolerance’ in schools, teachers are lining up to learn a different approach.
‘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. ‘
The school that embeds inclusion
“How can schools reduce exclusions? Last year groups from the education select committee to Ofsted to the mainstream press berated schools over bad practice without offering much in the way of solutions or guidance as to what “good or promising” practice (the Department for Education’s new buzz phrase – “best practice” is apparently now banned) looks like.”
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.
Reducing the number of pupils who are permanently excluded from school will save lives and money in the long run.
The challenges of working in a pupil-referral unit show us how to support pupils in mainstream schools, says Shaun Brown.
‘Students in pupil-referral units are more than twice as likely to be taught by an unqualified teacher. Yet, as Will Moss has found, moving from a mainstream setting to play a part in reviving the lives of excluded children can be a deeply rewarding – and professionally creative – challenge ‘