New measures to tackle rising number of primary school exclusions across Warwickshire

File image.
File image.

New measures to tackle the growing number of children excluded from Warwickshire’s primary schools have been agreed by the county council’s cabinet.

As part of the scheme, two centres in Nuneaton and Bedworth will be closed next year with the new policy looking at the county as a whole.

Cllr Colin Hayfield (Con Coleshill South and Arley), the portfolio holder for education and learning, highlighted the rising numbers in Warwickshire where there were 23 permanent exclusions last year, more than a three-fold rise from 2014/15.

He said: “We are doing quite well in Warwickshire in reducing the level of exclusions at secondary level but we haven’t been doing so well at primary level.

"We are still not talking of huge numbers but they are going up.

“We are looking to make some changes to support pupils who have either been excluded or, more particularly, are at the risk of being excluded.

“At the moment most of our efforts are focused in Nuneaton and Bedworth which have shown the highest level of exclusions but it has been pretty patchy across the rest of the county.

"What we are trying to do is set up a service that is county-wide.”

The scheme agreed by cabinet will see 14 hubs set up across Warwickshire.

These will be linked with the children and family centres and schools would provide a ‘significant adult’ for each of the hubs.

As part of the plan, the county council will stop sending any new pupils to the existing ‘link’ centres in Kingswood and Wheelwright Lane with immediate effect.

Children attended the centres one day each week for up to two terms.

Opposition group leader Cllr Richard Chattaway (Lab Bedworth Central) said: “Anything that starts to tackle exclusions has got to be welcomed.

"But you need to look behind the report and ask why are we getting exclusions in primary schools.

“The exclusion is the end of the process, not the start of the process.

"There is a whole load of work to be done behind this if we really want to make an impact.”

The latest figures showed that of last year’s 23 exclusions, ten were in either Nuneaton or Bedworth.