June 12, 2004
Leicestershire schools to be fined for excluding a child

I hesitate to say for sure, because you never really know with mere news reports, but on the face of it, this is absurd, and guaranteed to make it massively harder for schools to maintain discipline.

Politicians and education bosses today defended controversial plans to penalise schools by up to £10,000 if they expel a pupil.

They warned that the money to teach permanently excluded children had to come from somewhere and, if penalties were not introduced, it might have to be found by cuts to school budgets.

The city's education authority is proposing the penalties in a discussion document which has drawn an angry response from teachers and union officials.

Head teachers who have spoken to the Leicester Mercury accept that if they exclude a child the school should pay back the money it received to teach them - £3,149 on average for a secondary school pupil.

However, they are unhappy with the idea that they should be penalised extra money - up to £10,000 for a child who has special educational needs such as behavioural problems.

It is not a bit clear to me that they should have to pay that £3,149 back again, let alone another £6,851 on top of that. After all they did teach the child, and presumably whoever was in charge of the child wanted the child to go on being taught there, or there wouldn't be all this grief about the child being expelled. As for being fined (equals semi-compelled) to teach absolutely anyone who goes to their school (special "needs" – God how I hate that word), no matter how indifferent, hostile or violent that child may be about it, that just seems to me to be wicked, and not in a good way.

If teachers are forbidden to use violence, and they are, and if as well as that they are forbidden to expel or exclude, they are simply at the mercy of any pupil who or consortium of pupils which decides to misbehave, as are all the pupils at the school who actually want to do some learning.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 11:00 PM
Category: Exclusion