Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 12th July 2018
Title of Item/Report
Children and Young People Select Committee - Scrutiny Review of Inclusion in Schools
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that presented the outcomes of the Children and Young People Select Committee's review of Inclusion in Schools.

The aim of the review was to consider the Council's role in promoting inclusion in education, and understanding the range of approaches taken in local schools. This was in the context of rising numbers of exclusions and managed moves. The Review also considered the issues around Elective Home Education.


The Committee recommend that the Council takes action in six main areas:

Make representation locally, regionally and nationally about the implications of the increase in school exclusions and challenge policies we feel are inappropriate.

1. Submit a copy of the Committee's final report to local schools and Academy Trusts, the National School's Commissioner, and Secretary of State for Education.

2. Continue to emphasise our concerns locally to schools and Multi Academy Trusts.

3. Continues to write to the Regional School Commissioner and escalate concerns where necessary.

4. Works with our MPs to exert pressure on the National Schools Commissioner.

5. Uses the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Children's Services networks to advocate for a more inclusive approach, make representations for increased financial support to Local Authorities, and push for more up to date information to be used by Department for Education and Ofsted.

Make it more challenging for schools to pursue exclusion by providing additional guidance on alternative approaches, and being more proactive in our approach to pupils at risk of exclusion. We will be proactive in our approach to challenging schools with high numbers of FTEs.

6. Suggest an approach to schools to assess what other support has been or could be provided to pupils, with an emphasis on ensuring enough time is allowed for interventions to work. This will include:

a) We will publish and circulate to all schools a statement of the Local Authority's preferred approach to behaviour management, to include: details of the support available via the Pupil Inclusion Panel (PIP), and examples of positive practice/multi-agency working that has reduced exclusions and improved outcomes for children.

b) We will promote an approach whereby schools assess what support has been arranged in each case where there are repeated fixed term exclusions. We will continue to raise concerns about individual pupils directly with schools.

7. Continues to promote attachment training to local schools and monitor the take up.

8. Works to enhance the role of Governors in supporting inclusive practice. This will include promotion of training opportunities, awareness of SEND duties, and promotion of the role of PIP within their school.

Make schools more accountable for their actions on exclusion

9. Publishes an annual report from the Pupil Inclusion Panel (PIP). This will include trends in the exclusion data, and school engagement with the PIP.

10. Publishes exclusion data on our website each School Term.

Make it easier for parents to challenge exclusions

11. Develops a guide for parents, highlighting their rights to appeal, and publish this on the SBC website.

12. Supports and advocates for parents who wish to challenge decisions, including where exclusions are potentially in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

Make the alternatives clearer, realistic and of high quality

13. Provides guidance on alternative approaches to behaviour management and best practice.

14. Ensures schools are engaged with Early Help, and review the offer.

15. Reviews the Alternative Provision offer, including the role of the PRU and its greater focus on early intervention and prevention, and if possible, development of a free school.

16. Improves the SEND offer, including the development of a free school.

17. Explores development of an Elective Home Education Multi-agency Group for Stockton to better understand any gaps in services.

In relation to elective home education

18. Continues to engage with schools and families to prevent EHE wherever possible, and monitor individual cases of children in EHE using the full extent of Local Authority powers.

19. Highlights our concerns regarding EHE with local MPs and Secretary of State for Education.
Reasons for the Decision
The report presents the findings of the scrutiny review that took place as part of the agreed work programme for 2017-18.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Ann McCoy declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Children and Young People Select Committee - Scrutiny Review of Inclusion in Schools as she was Board of Governors of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEWV) NHS Foundation Trust.

Councillor Steve Nelson declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Children and Young People Select Committee - Scrutiny Review of Inclusion in Schools as he was on the Board of Governors Frederick Natrass School.

Councillor Bob Cook declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 6 - Children and Young People Select Committee - Scrutiny Review of Inclusion in Schools as he was a governor at two schools within the Borough.
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 20 July 2018.

Date of Publication: 16 July 2018

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