Swaffham Hamond’s head calls for more powers to stop excluded pupils gathering outside school gates
A frustrated headteacher has called for more powers to stop students expelled for bad behaviour gathering outside the school gates and misbehaving.
Swaffham police have made targeting disruption by young people near Swaffham Hamond's High School in Brandon Road one of their top priorities, and the town council has asked local MP Elizabeth Truss to step in.
Nearby residents said they had suffered graffiti, damage to car wing mirrors and air vents, although one praised the response of the school after he complained about litter and smoking by young people near the entrance a year ago.
An Ofsted inspection published in March said behaviour at the school was inadequate, and although its behaviour management policy has created a more settled climate, 'the concerns of parents and carers, students and staff are well founded'.
Headteacher Stuart Bailey said current pupils were well behaved and the school's reputation was suffering unfairly. He said: 'What we realised quite quickly is that there's a group of students out there who can look quite intimidating. They are not our students – several of them are ex-pupils who have been excluded from the school.
'We have no power or jurisdiction over any student who does not belong to the school. The only people who have any jurisdiction are the police but they have told us they are only allowed to move them on if they are causing anti-social behaviour or causing offence.
'I think if students have been excluded from school they should not have the right to hang around outside the school. I think it's wrong that we are not able to give a banning order at this time. We are frustrated.'
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He said the school now posts a senior teacher at the entrance every evening, and PSCOs come some evenings.
In a letter to Swaffham Town Council, Elizabeth Truss MP said the police had a five-point plan to tackle the problem, including delivering anti-social behaviour logs to anyone affected to record problems, and referring any offenders to a local operational partnership team.
She said: 'I have spoken to the town council and I hope the authorities will work together to resolve this matter.'