By Laura Maltby Monday 24 September 2012 Updated: 24/09 08:02
EXCLUSIONS from Warwickshire schools have halved over the last year to the lowest level for a decade.
The number of problem pupils kicked out of school dropped from 87 to 31, and education chiefs are hailing a radical new approach to dealing with them as the reason.
Warwickshire County Council has been working with schools to try and find alternative ways to prevent exclusions and more flexible educational provision for disruptive pupils.
It follows the controversial closure of the county's Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) - where excluded pupils were previously sent having been kicked out of school - which was criticised by the National Union of Teachers.
Funding previously allocated for the PRU is now directed to schools who invest in their own early intervention systems, such as learning support units, in a bid to deal with problem pupils without having to resort to excluding them.
This can include schools offering bought-in specialist part time and full time alternative educational provision packages.
But if a fresh start was now considered the best option a pupil could be transferred from one school to another.
Council education spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said: “We know the impact of an exclusion has a negative effect on outcomes of young people far beyond the immediate decision.
“By maintaining some of our most vulnerable young people in quality education provision, we are increasing their life chances.”
And Mark Gore, head of service for learning and achievement, added: “It could be seen as a high risk project, moving resources from crisis management following an exclusion to preventing those crises.
“But the figures show the huge step we have taken in the past year and our challenge now is sustain this year on year.”
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