The BBC is reporting that pupils who need to be educated outside the classroom miss out on the benefits of the wider curriculum.
Most are teenage boys who have been excluded from school, are refusing to attend or have behaviour problems. It is estimated there are about 2,000 pupils in Wales like this – a number rising in recent years. Estyn said the lack of a broad curriculum can have a negative impact on job and life prospects.
The inspection found:
- Very few pupils are taught by subject specialists and pupils can miss out on subjects like science.
- They may not receive full‑time education – those who are given home tuition by councils might only get 10 hours a week.
- Opportunities to continue Welsh-medium learning are “extremely limited”.
- Pupils with additional learning needs may not receive the specialist support they need.
- Very few pupils gain A*-C grades in GCSEs in the core subjects of English or Welsh, maths and science.
- A “major shortcoming” is they do not always have opportunities to study higher level courses, even when these better suit their abilities.
Those in full-time special provision “consistently express their disappointment” at the limited curriculum – while knowing it would limit their qualifications and life prospects.
Meilyr Rowlands, Estyn’s chief inspector, said: “Pupils who are excluded from school, refuse to attend school, or have challenging behaviour linked to social or emotional difficulties, often have significant gaps in their learning, low self-esteem, and limited aspirations for their future.”
What provisions does your area have to teach pupils that have been excluded from school? Do you feel there is enough out there to support them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie
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