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(UK) Isle of Wight: Support for at-risk special needs elem students to provide split week

Apr 4, 2023, Yahoo News: New service coming for vulnerable primary children at risk of exclusions

English Channel

Support will be removed from an Isle of Wight special pupil referral centre for children aged between five and ten.

The Isle of Wight Council hopes removing the provision at the Island Learning Centre (ILC) and replacing it with a Primary Behaviour Service (PBS), as used successfully in Hampshire, will have a positive impact on children.

The new PBS will aim to keep children, who are at risk of exclusion, in their current school three days a week with specialist support workers going to them.

For the other two days, children could go to a centre, proposed to be at Barton Primary School in Newport, where they will receive further support.

The Isle of Wight Council says the demand for the primary outreach provision has grown in recent years and, with 20 pupils enrolled at the moment, exceeded the ILC's capacity.

The new centre could provide space for 28 pupils.

The ILC currently offers alternative education provision for pupils who have been permanently excluded and those who are too medically unwell and emotionally vulnerable to attend mainstream schools.

It is viewed as a specialist short-term intervention, with the aim of helping pupils return successfully to mainstream education.

It has been agreed — by former children's services director Steve Crocker — to change the age range of those accepted to the ILC, removing the primary school element.

A public consultation earlier this year revealed parents' fears about moving to the PBS, including the potential for unsuitable support and an increased number of exclusions.

The council said it also needs to strengthen capacity across the Island to better meet the social, emotional and mental health needs of pupils to help reduce exclusion and suspension levels.

The PBS will help do that, it feels, with stronger early interventions for pupils; lessen the demand for education health and care plans and autism assessments; and better equip schools to help students.

The Isle of Wight Council has said the PBS has reduced exclusions in several areas across Hampshire by developing a whole school approach, supporting inclusive classrooms and working intensively with unproductive behaviours.

Overall, 97 per cent of schools who receive PBS support last year rated the service as 'excellent' or 'good'.

Along with the change for students, some staff at the ILC may face redundancy although they will be encouraged to apply for new roles to deliver the PBS.


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