Newbury today is reporting that more cuts to services helping the most vulnerable school pupils are being proposed by West Berkshire Council in a drive to make savings of more than £1m.
New proposals have been put forward to cut by half a service that supports children who are expelled from school, and to close two pupil referral units for excluded children at Newbury and Thatcham.
Explaining the decision, the council, which is responsible for arranging suitable provision for excluded pupils, blamed a lack of funding for the proposed cuts. It said: “Like many councils, we have to make difficult decisions about how we spend money. We can no longer afford to deliver alternative provision in the same way.”
The proposals include allowing some excluded pupils to continue their education at the same mainstream schools from which they were excluded, and bringing the number of PRUs down from six to four.
Defending the cuts, the executive member for education, Dominic Boeck, said: “Our proposal is to extend the delivery of our current service. At a high level, we would like to prioritise our resources where we can make the biggest difference to vulnerable pupils and students.
A final decision will be made at a meeting of the executive committee on January 19 and, if approved, change would be implemented from September 2017.
Do you think an excluded pupil could continue their education at the very same school from which they were excluded? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter ~ Nellie
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