Search

Only one other place in England expels more children with special needs than Norfolk

07:00 25 February 2016

Terry Haydn

Terry Haydn

New figures show the number of students with special educational needs in Norfolk being permanently expelled from school was the second highest in England.

The figures

According to statistics published by the Department for Education Norfolk 0.53pc of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) statements, a document detailing a child’s learning difficulties and necessary help, were expelled from school during the 2013 to 2014 academic year.

This means roughly 21 pupils out of the 3,980 enrolled with SEN statements in Norfolk were permanently excluded.

In Cambridgeshire none of the pupils with SEN statements were expelled in the same academic year and in Suffolk the number was statistically so small it was not relevant.

Wokingham, in Berkshire, rated the highest for expulsions, with 0.62pc of 811 children with statements being permanently excluded.

The third highest was Lincolnshire which recorded 0.52pc of 3,101 children enrolled with statements.

The news comes as the county council announces it is developing a strategy to help tackle the problem, which it hopes to be in full force by the new academic year.

Meanwhile a union chief has claimed the pressure to increase standards has meant an increase in expulsions.

According to statistics published by the Department for Education Norfolk 0.53pc of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) statements were expelled from school during the 2013 to 2014 academic year.

This means roughly 21 pupils out of the 3,980 enrolled with SEN statements, a document detailing a child’s learning difficulties and necessary help, in Norfolk were permanently excluded.

Colin Collis; Photo: Bill SmithColin Collis; Photo: Bill Smith

The justifications for exclusions were for issues such as violent and disruptive behaviour, but the figures do not show the individual reasons in Norfolk.

Colin Collis, national executive member for Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for the NASUWT teaching union, said: “The problem is in many schools there is tension between the inclusion agenda and the standards agenda.

“It’s about doing the best you can for all the students and making sure the school isn’t put in a category of inadequate because of GCSE results. The inevitable conclusion of this is rather than see the results go down schools will exclude pupils.”

Mr Collis, who has worked in education for 28 years, added: “Special needs covers a huge range of different needs and the problem with most teachers is that they might have several pupils with them in the same class. They are expected to plan and execute a lesson including all those students. Teachers only have so many hours in the day to plan those lessons. It’s stressful and increasing the workload.”

His view was echoed by Terry Haydn, Professor of Education at the University of East Anglia, who said: “Schools are under enormous pressure to improve pupils’ examination results, but there needs to be consideration and scrutiny of the extent of which schools do their best to educate all pupils in their community, and do not simply make exam results look better by excluding pupils because they are less able or have special educational needs.”

He added teachers and head teachers had a difficult job in ensuring the best possible outcomes for all pupils.

Michael Bateman, Head of Education Inclusion Service at the Norfolk County Council, said they were looking at how other local authorities managed expulsions differently and added Norfolk’s high rate might reflect the county’s system of recording them.

Mr Bateman said he was working with the head teacher and governor associations on developing an ‘education inclusion strategy’, aimed at identifying good practice and schools that require support to improve.

He added: “We will be in a position for the new academic year to be clearer about this strategy and school responsibilities within that.”

The figures

According to the Department for Education, in Norfolk 0.53pc of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) statements, a document detailing a child’s learning difficulties and necessary help, were expelled from school during the 2013 to 2014 academic year.

This means roughly 21 pupils out of the 3,980 enrolled with SEN statements in Norfolk were permanently excluded.

In Cambridgeshire none of the pupils with SEN statements were expelled in the same academic year and in Suffolk the number was statistically so small it was not relevant.

Wokingham, in Berkshire, rated the highest for expulsions, with 0.62pc of 811 children with statements being permanently excluded. The third highest was Lincolnshire, which recorded 0.52pc of 3,101 children enrolled with statements.

6 comments

  • With first hand experience of how a certain Norwich-based academy chain works I can say that this is about jumping up league tables and saving money, not about how badly behaved SEN children are. It's a win-win for schools who can ditch experienced teachers (who can manage and get the best out of these children) and replace them with the cheapest NQTs. The school counsellors can be removed as they are the ones who are the point of contact for these children, helping them to integrate into the rest of the school. Any excuse will be used to brand a child as a trouble maker if they are unlikely to get a C or above, and then ship them off to another school. Cheaper teachers, less support staff, higher grades! What's not to like if you're the head of a trust? it's not about the children...

    Report this comment

    JRedding

    Friday, February 26, 2016

  • Archant, please stop using the archaic term 'expel'. The phrase you should be using is 'permanent exclusion'. Also, Statements of SEN were phased out in 2014. They were replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans.

    Report this comment

    fizzyfuzzyteacher

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

  • Archant, please stop using the archaic term 'expel'. The phrase you should be using is 'permanent exclusion'. Also, Statements of SEN were phased out in 2014. They were replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans.

    Report this comment

    fizzyfuzzyteacher

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

  • What proportion are from freeschools or academies, desperate to improve statistics at any cost?

    Report this comment

    Davidbrian552

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

  • The article doesn't make it clear if the exclusions are from main stream or SEN schools. Reading between the lines I think it refers to main stream schools and I think this proves with the best will in the world these children need the care and education a SEN school gives. I have said it before you cannot treat all children the same Mother Nature has not made us all to fit a tick sheet education system or any other system come the that.

    Report this comment

    jennifer jane

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

  • Well on the one hand it could be because Norfolk does not have the resources to cope with these children who are being expelled rather than kept in school. On the other hand it could be that Norfolk schools face the truth that the education of many can be seriously disrupted by the behaviour of a few and that sometimes sheer bad behaviour and character comes under the designation of SEN and the learning difficulties are caused by attitude as much as anything else. Then we come back to the question of if that is the case what does Norfolk need to spend to deal with the problem.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, February 25, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Latest from the EDP

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 7°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the EDP
digital edition

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up