Reducing Exclusions Brain Dump – COMMENTS WELCOME

The reduction in exclusions cannot be done cheaply. It requires the following investment and thoughts:

  1. Specialist teachers and TAs employed in schools with outstanding and regular CPD for mainstream staff.
  2. Smaller classes in schools to enable differentiation and/or less contact time for teachers to help planning.
  3. Facilities and staff in school to enable therapeutic work to happen.
  4. A look at the accountability measures to stop the forcing of all students into Ebacc. Clear understanding of different routes and rates of progress. Use of destination as a clear way of assessing progress for all students.
  5. Readily available early help to support children and families. This should be aimed at pre-school, reception and KS1. Making sure that help only disappears when the family and the child are coping. Sure start centre for parents and pupils to stop the gap of early years.
  6. Support for families – real, consistent and for a good amount of time. This should be holistic…Mistakes of the parents should not be allowed to disadvantage the children. Every child deserves space for themselves, no matter what the parent’s current situation is.
  7. Engagement plans, strategies for hard to reach with involvement of the wider services.
  8. Use of outdoor learning, programmes to engage students and/or AP.
  9. Excellent AP for respite if in school isn’t working. The respite ends with a plan and support from the staff that have worked with the student back in the home school.
  10. Engagement with the police to help support those that fall foul of the law.
  11. Programmes of mental health first aid, especially those with attachment disorders. But, this has to be backed up with rapid triage assessments by CAMHS
  12. Removal of grammar schools to stop all SEN, deprived, difficult home life, different language speakers being overly represented in the rest of the local schools. Or reduction in per pupil funding.
  13. Schools being responsible for the first £x (up-to the amount they are funded per pupil). The current responsibility up-to the first £10k means that other students receive less. For my school it means that a child with a EHCP is under-funded by £6,700 in KS3.
  14. Tight fair access protocols where the target is what is best for the child rather than local figures and placement with certain timescales target.
  15. Reduction of per pupil funding for any school that doesn’t take an active role in the local Behaviour and Attendance Partnership. In selective boroughs this must mean they accept students that didn’t pass the 11+
  16. Excellent youth workers to help students not get involved in drugs. In fact more police to stop drugs being so readily available.
  17. Clear and funded programmes to take students who are involved with drugs out of schools to enable them to clean themselves up ready to return to school.
  18. Better support for students with mild SEN with thrusting middle class backgrounds. Too of these students take the finite resources.
  19. More state controlled SEN schools for ASD etc
  20. More SEMH schools
  21. With apologies to Jarleth, Dave, Simon et al who know their stuff better than me.

There are other ideas!


Submitted to Schools that Work for Everyone

Submitted to Schools that Work for Everyone – short version of consultation

Submitted on 2016-10-06 21:00:57

Introduction 1 What is your name? Name: Liam collins

4 What local authority area are you based in? Please select: East Sussex comprehensive school

5 Are these the right conditions to ensure that selective schools improve the quality of non-selective places? No (please provide further comments below)

What is the incentive? It is clearly proven that the way to increase the quality of schools is to allow them all access to all ability levels. Or to ensure that every parent has the choice of a good school. Not ensure that a good school can choose which students it allows in.

6 Are there other conditions that we should consider as requirements for new or expanding selective schools, and existing non-selective schools becoming selective? No (please provide further comments below)

Don’t. It will be popular with UKIP voters, but it will be a massive vote loser as 3/4 of every middle class family quickly work out that their children won’t get into the selective schools

7 What is the right proportion of children from lower income households for new selective schools to admit?

Ensure comprehensives are great. In existing grammars it should be at least the national average or get rid of the existing grammars.

8 How can we best ensure that new and expanding selective schools and existing non-selective schools becoming selective are located in the areas that need good school places the most?

Don’t create grammars. Ensure that schools are funded fairly across the country. Fund schools in areas that are perceived tough in such a way that they can keep class sizes small. That they can offer wrap around care to the support the students and their families. Bring back front loaded funding so that children aren’t behind when they start school. Ensure that teachers and SLT have job security for working in tough areas. Move all those areas to equal term lengths so that staff and students don’t suffer from the ridiculous long terms

New faith schools 9 Are these the right alternative requirements to replace the 50% rule? No (please provide further comments below)

Remove all religious schools and make them all secular. There is no parent choice to a school that chooses its intake

10 How else might we ensure that faith schools espouse and deliver a diverse, multi-faith offer to parents within a faith school environment?

Don’t segregate students by their religion. In studies i have seen it is shown that creating religious schools has the opposite effect you appear to want such as a diverse, multi-faith offer.  See unlocking the gates report where they explain:

“Yet we know from research that children can do better if schools are not socially segregated.  Increasingly our schools are just that, with half of all pupils entitled to free school meals (a proxy for poverty) concentrated in a quarter of secondary schools, while the top secondary schools take – on average – only five per cent of pupils entitled to free school meals, less than half the national average”

11 Are there other ways in which independent schools can support more good school places and help children of all backgrounds to succeed? No (please provide further comments below)

Private schools are private, let them be. Remove the tax relief and use that additional income to fund the services around schools. Especially sure start, mental health service and family support

12 Are there other ways in which universities could be asked to contribute to raising school-level attainment? Yes (please provide further comments below)

By offering a sabbatical relevant to teachers after ten years of service. The teacher goes into supporting ITT and research for a year. Recharge and reinvigorate

Education Election: Schools in an age of austerity


gSVlerRZAs Sam Freedman, former Policy Advisor to Michael Grove, recently wrote we are faced with three choices in the upcoming elections for education funding.  The Conservatives have said they will protect funding in “cash terms” per pupil – i.e. the amount of cash received for each pupil will stay the same over the Parliament and will not increase in-line with inflation. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have said they will protect the current education budget in “real terms” – so in line with inflation.

Put simply if inflation remains low the Conservatives plans will be better, if it is higher, then the Labour and Liberal Democrat plans will be.  However, it will mean a cut in per pupil funding of around 8%.  At the same time, in 2016/17, schools will be hit with a £1bn bill for additional pension and national insurance contributions – an additional effective cut of 2.5%.  In monetary terms a reduction of funding of half a million pounds for an average sized secondary school, more if you have a Sixth Form.

What this means for schools in practice will depend on two things: where these cuts will fall and their cost pressures.   For schools, where 80% of spending goes on staffing, we are faced with stark decisions to make over the next year.  Reduce staffing, teachers and/or support staff, increases class sizes and/or reduce subject choices, the latter always being preferable to larger classes.  But, costs will have to be reduced wherever we can and we also have new GCSEs and new A’levels to fund, with no additional money for equipment, text books or resources.

At the moment there are significant and historic differences between funding in different parts of the country. Inner London for instance is overfunded, and many schools have significant surpluses, whereas other parts of the country, often more rural have much tighter margins.

What this means for parents in our area is that the schools will need an increase in fund-raising and support to help over this next challenging period.  So to steal one famous US President quote:

“My fellow parents, ask not what your children’s school can do for you, ask what you can do for their school.”