The Tes reports that a new charity plans to help pupils facing complex social and emotional problems to remain in mainstream education.
The report, published by thinktank IPPR, draws attention to the link between children growing up in poverty – or experiencing mental health problems – and school exclusions. “As mental ill health in young people rises, and more children are subject to interaction with social care services each year, more vulnerable children spill into the alternative provision sector,” the report states.
“Too often, this path leads them straight from school exclusion to social exclusion.”
According to official figures, children in England were permanently excluded from school 6,685 times in 2015-16 – equivalent to around 35 a day. Based on this number, the IPPR calculates that excluding children cost the government around £2.1 billion last year.
This calculation reflects the cost of educating these youngsters in alternative settings to mainstream school, lost taxation from lower future earnings, the higher likelihood of these youngsters going through the criminal justice system, benefits payments and higher average healthcare costs for these young people across their lifetime.
The study sets out a programme called The Difference, which it says would help to cut exclusions in England and provide a new career route connecting teachers with schools for excluded children.
The charity hopes to increase the number of exceptional teachers and leaders choosing to work in alternative provision.
The thinktank’s report, Making the Difference, highlights four educational priorities that it hopes will be tackled by this new charity:
- Improving preventative support for young people with complex needs in mainstream schools.
- Improving the commissioning and oversight of alternative provision for excluded pupils.
- Increasing and then maintaining the supply of exceptional teachers and leaders into alternative provision.
- Improving an understanding of what works, in improving trajectories for excluded young people.
Kiran Gill, associate fellow of the IPPR and founder of The Difference, said that the aim was to raise the status of those teachers working with excluded pupils.
Read the full article Excluding a pupil ‘costs taxpayer up to £370k’
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