IT GOT to the point, says Susan, where dropping her child off at primary school was “heart-wrenching”. She would go to work, knowing to expect a call asking her to return because of another problem. Eventually, she gave up her job, but it wasn’t enough to stop things deteriorating. When, during another row, her eight-year-old daughter asked a teacher, “Why don’t you just kill me?”, the school decided that exclusion was the only option. It said it could do no more to help.
Her daughter joined a growing cohort: according to the most recent official figures, there are 6,685 pupils in England who have been permanently excluded from school, a rise of 44% since 2012-13. Head teachers say that children are kicked out only as a last resort or because of dangerous behaviour, such as bringing a weapon to school. In such cases exclusions “are not an evil”, says Tom Bennett, a government adviser on school behaviour….Continue reading