Figures from Ofsted’s annual report into education suggest that Yorkshire and Humber have the highest rates of school exclusions in the UK.
The problem is especially prevalent in secondary education. While 82% of Yorkshire primary schools were rated as good or outstanding in the report only 68% of secondary schools reached these grades.
Rachel, who left her job as a teacher after 14 years said: “It was my job was to take out small groups of ‘problem’ kids and teach them a different curriculum for the days they were in.
“I basically had to hide the kids in rooms Ofsted wasn’t likely to find and pretend to be doing group work for their benefit. It wasn’t an uncommon practice. Neither was finding ways to temporarily suspend kids who were likely to be an issue when Ofsted was coming in.”
Rachel is currently working in a hospital. She did not share her last name citing fear for her privacy.
John Harrison is an ex-teacher from Sheffield, who is now running a micro-pub in the city. He has also described school exclusions as his main reason for leaving his job as an teacher.
He said: “The final straw was after an A level student was counselled off the course three months before his A2 exam as he was two grades below the ALPS target. He had so many issues at home that even being in school was impressive for him.”
According to the results of a YouGov poll published by tes.com in November, nearly half of the people working in the profession support crackdowns on schools that practice informal exclusion in order to improve their position on the league-table.
The issue of school exclusions was also brought up at The Star Cabinet in Sheffield last week, before the release of the report. Councillor Jayne Dunn then said that local authorities are battling exclusions by putting children and parents at the heart of their inclusion strategy.
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