What to do when your school has decided against permanent exclusions

The rise in the number of school exclusions is alarming and the effect a pupil’s misbehaviour can have on a class, individual pupils and teachers alike is of huge concern. However, when acted upon correctly, it doesn’t have to be such a negative tale. A assistant headteacher inclusion writes in Teachwire.

I am thinking about Ashmal (Name has been changed), a 14-year-old pupil at Lyng Hall Academy, whom I still teach today. Within his first year of joining the school in Year 7, Ashmal had 389 negative codes (behaviour technique that begins with a positive).

He was hugely disruptive and on the brink of permanent exclusion – but together with my colleagues, I saw promise in Ashmal, and we didn’t want to give up on him.

It was such a difficult situation, we needed to think about our other students, but we knew that if we excluded him – which would have been the easiest option – his chances of succeeding in life were slim.

We assigned Ashmal to a keyworker, who got to know not only Ashmal but also his family. The keyworker took the time to understand what had happened in his life for him to be so angry and suggested Ashmal went on an anger management programme to think about kindness and positivity.

Meanwhile, as a school we looked into other services that could help Ashmal. We worked with social care, primary mental health and Coventry MIND and took advice from CAMHS who shared their strategies rather than Ashmal needing to join a long waiting list.

As part of the school-wide commitment to Achievement for All’s Achieving Schools programme, we worked closely with Ashmal’s parents, which was integral to developing a cohesive programme of support tailored to Ashmal’s needs.

In addition, we secured a place for Ashmal on the Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme, where an older student mentored him.

Find out more about Ashmal and his progress What to do when your school has decided against permanent exclusions

School funding? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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