The Opportunity Area Delivery Plan identified student behaviour and exclusions as being a barrier to the delivery of our priority 4 objective – ‘A good secondary school place for every young person on the North Yorkshire Coast.’
“There is a correlation between schools with the highest levels of deprivation, poor attendance and poor outcomes; and secondary leaders have been clear that managing challenging behaviour is an issue in some of the area’s secondary schools.”
The project began in 2019 and has invested in three areas to reduce permanent and fixed term exclusions in secondary schools, and to expand the local Alternative Provision offer:
1. Increase the breadth and amount of local AP that schools can commission to provide a wider offer to young people at risk of exclusion and to enable a bespoke programme created for each child that meets their needs. This has included on-site AP units and improved access to off-site AP.
2. Provide training and interventions to schools in effective behaviour management through a tailored programme of support. Schools have been supported to refine their approaches to behaviour management to align to evidence-based approaches, aiming to improve inclusive practice that supports the SEMH needs of children and young people and improves relationships between pupils and staff. Since 2020 this has prioritised training professionals in Nurture, promoting inclusion and accessing the Boxall Profile to support pupils. This has also included delegated funding to schools to trial different approaches that promote good behaviour and a readiness to learn.
3. Strengthen support to help schools meet the needs of pupils presenting the most complex behavioural challenge and at greatest risk of permanent exclusion. This work was originally delivered via the ‘Building Bridges’ team in North Yorkshire County Council and they worked with 37 young people at risk of permanent exclusion in the 2019/20 academic year, providing support that focussed on developing positive relationships with key adults. This has since prioritised mentoring through a local voluntary sector group – Sidewalk Youth Project – for students who are transitioning from primary to secondary schools and/or showing signs of low engagement with school and requiring support.
We have now published our plan for this project in the 2021/22 academic year
2019/20 exclusions data shows that there was been a reduction in all exclusions compared to 2018/19 (this data is up to March 2020 and before the disruption caused by COVID):
• 22% reduction in Fixed Term Exclusion (FTE) incidents
• 15% reduction in the number of children receiving FTEs
• 82% reduction in Permanent Exclusions
2020/21 exclusions data showed further reductions in fixed-term exclusions – however, this does not take into account the changes in school attendance due to COVID:
• 39% reduction in Fixed Term Exclusion (FTE) incidents
• 11% reduction in the number of children receiving FTEs
• 67% increase in Permanent Exclusions (from 3 to 5)
• There was an increase in exclusions at Primary Schools during this academic year and this will be a focus in the 2021/22 academic year.