(UK) MP addresses 70% increase in kids excluded from school; 50% are SPED

Feb 24, 2020, (Parliament’s Magazine) The House: Sarah Jones MP: If we are to tackle this epidemic of youth violence, we must ensure no child is left behind The 70% rise in permanent school exclusions since 2012 shows something has gone seriously wrong, writes Sarah Jones MP. School exclusions must be a last resort, and alternative education provision must be properly resourced. Violent crime has doubled over recent years, with more and more young people dying on our streets. It shames us all that in one of the richest countries in the world, thousands of young people feel so unsafe, so directionless or so angry that they choose to pick up a knife. … But our All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) also heard evidence that some schools were struggling to find resources to support children and manage their behaviour, or being too hasty to exclude a child for minor misbehaviour. The 70% rise in permanent exclusions since 2012 shows something has gone seriously wrong. Over the same period, knife crime has risen to record levels, with hundreds of young people dying on our streets. One charity told us there was a “disturbing correlation” between children excluded from school and those involved in county lines gang exploitation…. Every excluded child is legally entitled to full-time education in alternative provision, but our investigation found that too often that isn’t happening – with some excluded children getting as little as two hours schooling per day. Our report, which will be debated in Parliament’s Westminster Hall this week, called for a government review into why so many vulnerable children are getting less support than they would in mainstream school – when in many cases they need more. Both mainstream schools and alternative provision must have the proper funding and training, so every child gets the support they need. We know that half of excluded children have special educational needs (SEN). Yet SEN support has seen some of the biggest cuts….