In the last academic year (2017-18), several Dorset schools have permanently excluded their students within the ages of 5 and 10 years from school for poor behaviour. There have been 73 permanent exclusions so far, 14 of which were later rescinded.
The major reason for the exclusions is the continuous disruptive behaviour of the children. This behaviour includes attacking staff, attacking other children, verbal abuse and threats. Another reason which sadly is becoming frequent is drug and alcohol abuse.
These acts brought about a total of 37 exclusions across the county, with schools like Wey Valley School in Weymouth having permanently excluded as many as 8 children between 2017 and 2018; Atlantic Academy (previously IPACA); Budmouth, the Grange School; Highcliffe and Queen Elizabeth’s having each excluded 6 children across the county.
Kate Wheller, Weymouth councillor was disheartened to learn that children were being excluded from education in mainstream schools and as a result of drugs and bad behaviour too! She said:
“I find it quite appalling that we have got primary children who are out of control.”
The Director of Children’s Services, Nick Jarman in his interview also made known his discontent with the current situation in the county.
However, he was happy to report that social services now have better methods of tracking troubled families and was offering support through Family Partnerships Zone initiatives with schools. They will also be able to help with 20 percent of their budgets which will be allocated to special needs and pupils with disabilities.
But according to Cllr Beryl Ezzard, Purbeck Family Partnership Zone teachers and schools in the Purbeck area can’t cope with the reduction of funding.