Pupils being ‘illegally’ kept out of school

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Under pressure headteachers are illegally excluding disruptive pupils and refusing to offer others a place at their school in a bid to meet Government achievement targets.

Anecdotal evidence of youngsters being kept at home for up to six weeks and parents repeatedly being asked to pick their children up from school has been uncovered by a task group set up to look into the situation.

It is feared some headteachers are using illegal practices and encouraging parents of unruly children to make a “fresh start” at a new school rather than see their own exam results and attainment levels suffer.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee will tomorrow receive a draft report compiled after a review into school admissions and exclusions by a task and finish group made up of seven non-executive members and two church representatives.

One of the comments received from a headteacher and included in the report said: “We have parents coming to us where the child who has not been in school for five, six or seven weeks and parents have been told by another school that their child is not suitable for them. ”

And one parent also told the panel she had been asked twice to take her son home.

Following the second incident, she was told her son could return to school part-time and received a letter “suggesting” he attended for just morning sessions, which she had to agree to in writing.

The report recommends that the county council writes to the Secretary of State for Education to highlight the pressures schools are under to meet targets and to request clear guidance relating to unofficial exclusions from academies.

It also suggests the county’s Exclusions Policy is redistributed to schools to remind them of their obligations and that clear information is provided to parents regarding their rights and responsibilities when it comes to exclusions.