Inter-agency working to prevent school exclusion

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Background

Education and welfare agencies trying to prevent pupils being excluded from school need to work across their professional barriers more effectively if they are to be successful, a Scottish research study published in September 2001 stated. The report, Hanging On In There, also calls for joined-up policies at national level. There are said to be tensions between arrangements for pupils with behaviour problems and those for children with special needs and how these relate to exclusion. There are differences, too, in the way schools, social welfare organisations and the juvenile justice system deal with young people's right to participate in decisions.

The report is based on an investigation of inter-agency working in six schools in three education authorities, backed by detailed interviews with 22 young people aged between 12 and 15 who had been excluded or were at risk of being excluded.

The authors, Gwynedd Lloyd and Joan Stead of Edinburgh University and Professor Andrew Kendrick of Strathclyde University, found that there were a range of strategies but that not all were effective. They say that the best practice comes when professionals combine "a warm, informal, non-judgmental style with clearly structured aims and evaluation of programmes", and base their support on the individual circumstances and views of the young people.

Link

Hanging On In There is published by the National Children's Bureau and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation at £11.95. For a summary of the findings, entitled Inter-agency working to prevent school exclusion (2001), or to order a copy of the full report, visit www.jrf.org.uk/knowledge/findings/socialpolicy/961.asp

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