Category Archive • Exclusion
December 15, 2004
You can ban pencil sharpeners but not the kid who used a pencil sharpener blade to stab somebody

Key quote from this Belmont Club posting:

The school management argued that while pencil sharpeners could be proscribed the attacker could not be prevented from returning.

This is the report that Wretchard was commenting on.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Education, like any other human endeavour, is either a tyranny or a shambles or both if you can't kick unwelcome people out (using whatever force is necessary to accomplish this), or if those who don't want to be there aren't allowed to leave.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 03:37 PM
Category: ExclusionViolence
November 21, 2004
Mr Clarke makes it impossible for Francis Gilbert to protect his other pupils from Lancel Hendricks

Francis Gilbert, a favourite educational commentator here at BEdBlog, has this to say about Charles Clarke's latest policy initiative: Lancel Hendricks.

Gilbert writes so well that it is hard to pick out any few key paragraphs. They're all key paragraphs. The gyst of this Telegraph piece is that Mr Clarke's new policy says that schools must include badly behaved boys like Lancel Hendricks, no matter how badly they behave. But Gilbert taught Lancel Hendricks and knows from experience that forcing Gilbert to teach Lancel Hendricks was a recipe for disaster for all the other pupils in Gilbert's class.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 10:39 PM
Category: Exclusion
July 28, 2004
"I don't think the school has enough power to get rid of these people"

It's been all over the front pages for days, and finally I have a comment to offer that goes beyond saying: how appalling.

THE mother of murdered schoolboy Luke Walmsley yesterday branded his killer an "evil bully".

Heartbroken Jayne Walmsley spoke out after Alan Pennell, 16, was sentenced to at least 12 years in jail for killing her 14-year-old son.

Judge Mr Justice Goldring told him he could serve longer if he didn't show remorse.

He said: "In your pocket was a flick knife. I have seen it and it is an evil weapon. You thrust the knife into his chest.
"It was not done in the spur of the moment.

"Although giving evidence you expressed remorse ... I find it difficult to accept."

Mrs Walmsley, 41, said she didn't blame staff at Birkbeck School in North Somercotes, Lincs, for her son's death on November 4 last year.

She said: "He was just an evil boy who was a bully. It was always younger children he picked on. I don't think the school has enough power to get rid of these people."

I generally dislike the modern tabloid habit of deferring to and publicising the legislative opinions of the bereaved, and of crafting new laws in honour of their loved ones, instead of tombstones. But what if Mrs Walmsley's a change in the law to allow schools to expel dangerous bullies more easily than they can now were to be her chosen memorial for her dead son? I just might change my mind about this practice.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 09:24 PM
Category: BullyingExclusion
June 28, 2004
The Conservatives say they will exclude

This could be a Conservative vote winner.

Disruptive pupils will be sent to tough new day units and subjected to "no-nonsense discipline" under Tory education plans to be unveiled this week.

No doubt the actual details of the policy will involve the odd spot of nonsense, but I'm talking politics here, and politics is always nonsensical.

There are plenty of people in the upper reaches of the Government who understand that discipline is crucial to making state school function adequately, and that the key to discipline is being able to exclude unruly pupils. But lower down in the system are people who fatuously hope to achieve discipline without either violence or exclusion. "Society" must be "inclusive" blah blah. Can't be done. The Conservatives have a strong issue here.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 12:10 AM
Category: ExclusionPolitics
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