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2 December 2010
School exclusions are
a ‘costly and ineffective dead-end’
EXCLUDING young people from
school is expensive and does little to improve behaviour according
to children’s charity Barnardo’s, which runs 43 services for
children and young people in the North West.
Despite the encouraging decline in the use of permanent exclusion
over recent years, fixed-term exclusions are still over-used.
Secondary schools in England issued 307, 840 fixed-term exclusions
in 2008/09; equating to more than 800,000 days of missed education.
If the intention is to send a short sharp message to young people
that their behaviour is not acceptable then the message is clearly
not being received; 66% of secondary school fixed period exclusions
were given to pupils who had already received one earlier in the
year, showing that such exclusions are very frequently ineffective.
The single biggest reason for all exclusions is ‘persistent
disruptive behaviour'. However, Barnardo’s research argues that
early intervention or effective alternative provision can help stop
behaviour escalating to this crisis point and therefore limit the
need to exclude.
In a new report, Not present and not correct: Understanding and
preventing school exclusions, Barnardo’s focuses on solutions to bad
behaviour which not only cost less than exclusion, but result in
better outcomes for the young people concerned.
Martin Narey, Barnardo’s chief executive explains:-
“Barnardo’s acknowledges that when behaviour is dangerous, removal
from school may be the only option. But disruptive behaviour is
frequently a sign of problems outside school and those young people
most at risk of exclusion need more adult supervision and support,
It is madness for us to take poorly behaved, often troubled children
and remove them from the one arena in which they are required to
behave reasonably. Ejecting them from school and leaving them to
their own devices in chaotic homes and risky neighbourhoods is not
going to improve anything, it’s just a costly and ineffective
This research shows how we can work constructively with young people
and their families to address the underlying causes of bad behaviour
whilst helping them continue learning.”
Permanently excluding a young person can cost up to 3 times as much
as investing in counselling or family support to change bad
behaviour before it reaches crisis point, or providing them with a
short-term alternative that restores their confidence in learning.
While some politicians have advocated exclusion as a way of ‘nipping
problems in the bud’, young people and professionals interviewed as
part of Barnardo’s research confirmed that school exclusions are
failing to remedy bad behaviour.
Martin Narey continues:- “Exclusion can and should be a last
resort. Barnardo’s projects show how intervening to fix problem
behaviour before it’s too late and learning to manage anger and
emotions can help restore young people to a point where they can
return to a mainstream classroom.
Fixing discipline problems before they become entrenched is in
everyone’s interest. The right intervention at the right time can
transform the life chances of vulnerable young people at risk of
Recommendations from Barnardo’s report include:-
► increasing the supply, range and quality of early intervention and
► introducing a trigger to prompt a needs assessment when fixed-term
exclusions are being used repeatedly
► clamping down on illegal unofficial exclusions and ensuring all
absence from school is properly documented
► ensuring that adequate alternative provision is in place before
implementing managed moves or zero-exclusion policies.
Stroke groups given a boost through charity ball
Merseyside hotel the Ramada Plaza in Southport has pledged its
support to a charity masquerade ball in aid of 2 stroke groups.
The Stroke Association and the Merseyside Young Stroke Information
‘n’ Support Group are set to benefit from the event on Friday, 3
December at the Southport Theatre which adjoins the hotel on The
General Manager Enda Rylands said he was proud to support the ball
by publicising it at the four star hotel and offering a discounted
nightly rate for those attending the event. He has also provided an
auction prize of a night’s dinner, bed and breakfast. He
said:- “We have a firm commitment to local charities and had
no hesitation in helping these two worthy causes, both of which rely
entirely on donations. Thanks to the ball, people on Merseyside who
have suffered strokes can be guided on the path back to health, with
support also given to their families. We hope as many people as
possible will attend the ball and raise lots of money for these
The charity ball includes a three-course meal, an auction and
entertainment from singer Cari Winter, comedian Lester Crabtree and
magician Matt Colman. Tickets cost £35 and are available via:-
DRINK AND DRUG DRIVERS FACE THE RAP THIS CHRISTMAS
risk driving when twice over the legal drink drive limit increase
their chances of being involved in a fatal crash by more than 30
times, is the stark warning from Merseyside Police this Christmas.
With the festive season approaching the temptation to get behind the
wheel after having a drink may be a risk some drivers think is worth
Merseyside Police is launching its Christmas drink drive campaign on
Wednesday, 1 December 2010, and is urging people having a drink this
season to not risk their lives and other people's by driving.
Instead, the message is to leave their car keys at home, designate a
non-drinking driver or take public transport.
As well as targeting motorists who drink or take drugs and then
drive at night, officers will be carrying out enforcement in the
mornings to target those still over the legal drink drive limit or
not fit to drive through taking illegal substances.
Nationally, drink-related road deaths are increasing with 130 more
fatalities across the UK in 2004 than in 1998. Although
Merseyside is below the national average, up to 70 people a year are
killed or seriously injured on the roads as a direct result of drink
driving, which is a particular problem among the under 25s.
The number of people driving under the influence of illegal or
prescribed drugs is also increasing. These drugs can affect driving
ability and judgement in the same way as alcohol and these people
will also be targeted during the Force's Christmas campaign.
Chief Inspector John Hogan, head of Merseyside Police Roads Policing
Department, said:- "We want to challenge the perception among
some people who think it is acceptable to drive after having a drink
or taking drugs. Alcohol affects everybody in a different way
and can remain in your system for longer than you think. Even the
smallest amount of alcohol will affect your competence behind the
wheel, your ability to judge speed and distance and will slow down
The number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads of
Merseyside comes at a huge cost in terms of human tragedy and
financial impact. One death on the roads of Merseyside
is one too many and the Force will be working hard to reduce the
number of collisions on the road this Christmas."
In an effort to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on
the roads of Merseyside, the Force is working with the other
emergency services to highlight the dangers of drink and drug
driving. To launch the campaign the emergency services will be
staging a recreation of a fatal crash at Toxteth Community Fire
Station on Wednesday, 1 December 2010, at 12pm.
Officers are also holding 5 spotlight days in December targeting
motorists flouting the driving laws and educating those caught
breaking the rules of the road. During these days, there
will be a high visibility of officers on key roads across Merseyside
taking action against people driving illegally.
Station Manager Mark Thomas from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service
knows only too well the consequences drink driving can bring. He
said:- "I have been in the fire service for 18 years and I’ve
lost count of the number of collisions that I have attended where
alcohol was a factor.
Sadly, experiences in my professional role became a personal reality
for me and my family last July. My colleagues from Heswall and Upton
attended a fatal accident in Neston where four young people had died
at a horrific scene - my 19-year-old niece was among them. She had
been out that evening and got into a car with her friends; the
driver had been drinking and it was later established that he was
three-and-a-half times over the legal limit.
Nothing will bring Michaela or her friends back. All we can hope is
that others will learn from this tragic, needless and so easily
I urge anyone thinking of drinking before driving to think again –
and to passengers considering entering a car being driven by a drunk
driver to think again. I would not want anyone to experience this
tragedy and the sadness that our family has had to come to terms
Derek Cartwright, Director of Paramedic Emergency Service for the
North West Ambulance Service, said:- "The number of people
affected by these types of incidents goes far beyond the number of
deaths when consideration is given to the impact these type of road
incidents have on families, friends and sometimes even emergency
On many occasions the scene of devastation can be upsetting even for
the most experienced medical professional, especially when in many
circumstances the accident could have easily been avoided."
Chief Inspector Hogan added:- "The size and scale of our
campaign shows our determination to tackle drink and drug driving
and reduce road deaths. Even a momentary lapse in
concentration can result in catastrophic consequences for not just
themselves but for their passengers as well as other innocent
victims who could be left maimed or at worse killed.
Our main objective is to reduce the number of people killed or
seriously injured on Merseyside’s roads by making them a safer place
for all road users - drink and drug driving is a significant
contributory factor in these accidents.
We will continue to prosecute drivers prepared to ruin lives by
drink or drug driving and they will face severe penalties ranging
from hefty fines to lengthy prison sentences.
Our officers, as well as other emergency services, are at the very
heart of road death investigations from the crash site and liaison
with the victim’s family through to the prosecution in the courts.
We see the carnage and devastation that is caused by drink and drug
driving and with the onset of the festive season motorists, cyclists
and pedestrians need to take extra care while out on the roads of
Merseyside so Christmas is remembered for all the right reasons and
not because of a tragedy."
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