Writing in his column in the Guardian, Warwick Mansell reports hearing of cases where pupils may be leaving mainstream education shortly after entering it, with one example of a boy being permanently expelled when aged barely five.
…The boy was excluded permanently, without having had any fixed-term exclusions imposed, says his family, on the day of an incident in which a teaching assistant was left with a damaged thumb and after what the school told his mother were “numerous behavioural incidents”.
Beadle [the parent] argues the behavioural problems were generally minor and that the school should not have permanently excluded the child without a lengthier investigation. He was assessed as on the autistic spectrum by Bromley Healthcare on 1 July last year.
The family challenged the school’s decision at an independent tribunal, which recommended governors reconsider because the school had not fully followed procedures. School governors then did so, but stood by their original decision.
The boy was out of education completely until January, when the council in neighbouring Lewisham, where the family lives, placed him in part-time out-of-school provision for excluded children.
His mother says: “It’s heartbreaking. I do not know how they can do that to a five-year-old who, because of his autism, was only beginning to learn the rules of behaviour…”
More (including a response from the school) at: Boy aged five with autism expelled from school
We obviously don’t have the full story but what do you think in principle of the idea of children aged five being permanently excluded from school?
Does it sound wrong or are there situations where it is, regretfully, the right course of action?
Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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