Search

‘Children should not be treated as numbers’ - charging schools for expelling pupils not way to tackle Norfolk’s soaring expulsion rates, says principal of City Academy, Norwich

PUBLISHED: 16:27 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 19:44 23 May 2017

City Academy Principle Mary Sparrow. Photo : Steve Adams

City Academy Principle Mary Sparrow. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

Charging schools which expel students could worsen an alarming rise in expulsion rates in Norfolk and have a damaging impact on children’s welfare, a principal has warned.

Michael Bateman, head of SEN at Norfolk County Council Michael Bateman, head of SEN at Norfolk County Council

Mary Sparrow, from City Academy, Norwich said under pressure school leaders could be less inclined to invest money in measures to prevent students being expelled if they felt they could then face thousands of pounds in charges.

Speaking at a meeting of Norfolk County Council’s Schools Forum on Friday, she said “children should not be treated as numbers”.

Forum members were discussing the county council’s proposal to charge schools for permanently excluding pupils, an idea which the council hopes could tackle the county’s soaring expulsion rates and address a projected £8.5m overspend in special needs education.

The number of permanent exclusions around Norfolk leapt from 170 in 2013/14 to 195 in 2014/15 and 296 in 2015/16 with 137 children excluded in the autumn term alone this year.

Norfolk permanent exclusion numbers. Graphic: ARCHANT. Norfolk permanent exclusion numbers. Graphic: ARCHANT.

MORE: Almost 100 children waiting for an education as school expulsions in Norfolk soar

It has meant that some 100 children in Norfolk are currently missing out on any education and is considered to be, in part, responsible for the deficit.

It is felt the charges would act as a deterrent and raise some of the money needed.

Mrs Sparrow said: “If we fine schools for expelling students it could perversely mean there is less they are able to do before it gets to this stage.

“Before permanently excluding a child we will invest between £7,500 to £15,000 in measures to prevent exclusion.

“We are already making some very tough decisions and if there is the threat of this being topped up to £20,000 head teachers may stop putting that money in at the start.

MORE: What is driving the rapid rise in Norfolk school exclusions?

“If a school clearly hasn’t done enough to prevent the expulsion, then fining them is fair enough.

“It is not black and white - there are many grey areas. Children should not be treated as numbers.”

Michael Bateman, head of Norfolk County Council’s Education Inclusion Service, said: “If there are cases where it is clear that schools are doing all they can but have no other choice, we can use discretion.”

Money raised from charges would be reinvested into reintegrating pupils.

Schools will be consulted on the proposals this summer.

1 comment

  • Don't find the schools for having to "exclude" brats, fine or surcharge the parent(s) in order to recover some of the exceptional costs their "little darlings" have caused. Parents are being fined for taking their kids following unauthorised absences so there is precedence for such charges to be raised.

    Report this comment

    koenig

    Saturday, May 20, 2017

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

Other news

While many of us have enjoyed working in the comfort of an office, David Large has battled through all weathers and seasons to run his market stall for nearly half a century.

The people who make Norfolk’s NHS function have opened their hearts about the “constant battle” they face to keep services afloat.

08:04

A gym owner who says exercise can help mental health is calling on the community to join him in an exercise challenge to raise money for charity.

One of the largest diabetes prevention research studies in the world has just finished recruiting after screening over 13,000 participants at risk of diabetes in Norfolk, Suffolk and north east Essex.

Most Read

Friday, July 21, 2017

Residents have complained about a loss of parking spaces following a £3.4m project to improve their town and make it more pedestrian-friendly.

Read more
Sunday, July 23, 2017

A ten-year-old Doctor Who fan won’t bat an eyelid at the new female Doctor Who - as long as he can climb into his own dalek and exterminate.

Read more
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Shocking dash-cam footage has emerged of a road rage incident on the A140 in Norfolk where a driver performed a U-turn and then rammed head-on into another car.

Read more
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Three teenagers killed at a collision at Pulham Market died of multiple injuries, the opening of the inquest into their deaths has heard.

Read more
Neill
Yesterday, 11:00

Center Parcs has apologised for disruption caused to holidaymakers who were evacuated from shops, restaurants and a swimming pool at its Elveden resort after a customer reported overhearing someone mention a suspect device.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 12°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter