Category: Education

Too Many Young People are Being Permanently Excluded by Schools in Nottingham

Permanent exclusions need to become a method of last resort as their current excessive use by many schools in Nottingham is leading to higher costs, damaging young people’s futures and has been linked to increased levels of knife crime.

Pupils in Nottingham are up to three times more likely to be permanently excluded than regional or national peers. Comparisons from the 2015/16 academic year show that in Nottingham 77 secondary school age pupils were permanently excluded. In Derby there were 28 students expelled, while in Leicester there were just 14. Since 2014 there has been 73 permanent exclusions of primary school children in Nottingham and 377 secondary school children. These are significant numbers and suggests some Nottingham schools are using permanent exclusions as a first response rather than a method of last resort.

Pupils that are given permanent exclusion end up being educated with alternative providers across the city and county where they receive a reduced curriculum and timetable. Not only are these providers of variable quality, they cost far more than mainstream schools and academies, creating a huge pressure on the city’s limited High Needs funding. The financial impact of mass exclusions means there is less funding available to all of the schools and academies in the city to spend on vulnerable pupils. It is estimated that the cost of exclusion is around £370,000 per young person in lifetime education, benefits, healthcare and criminal justice costs as well.

The cost is not just financial however as in the majority of cases permanently excluding a pupil from school will have a significant negative impact on the rest of their life. This may include poor attainment, ongoing mental health issues and the increased likelihood of entry into the criminal justice system. There is also some suggestion that as the number of permanent exclusions increases and more young people are not in school it adds to the problem of knife crime areas as well.

Too many of our vulnerable young people are being excluded and failed by the education system in Nottingham. We have raised concerns with the Regional Schools Commissioner who we expect to work with academies in Nottingham to reduce the number of permanent exclusions. Although academies are outside the councils direct remit, we urge them to work together and with the council to reduce the numbers of children being excluded.

Cllr Neghat Khan,
Portfolio Holder for Education and Skills

Nottingham’s Pioneering Schools Model Goes From Strength to Strength

In September 2017 we launched the Nottingham Schools Trust, a groundbreaking new model for local schools to work together, share resources and drive improvements by cooperation and collaboration. The first Trust of its kind in the country is made up of 30 local schools, enabling Council maintained community schools to join together in a not-for profit charitable structure.

The Trust isn’t restricted to Council maintained schools. Of the 30 member schools, 3 are standalone academies and 3 are schools for children with special educational needs. Since the launch of Nottingham Schools Trust more schools have expressed an interest in joining and Foxwood Academy, a special school in Bramcote recently became the newest member school, and the first member school outside the Nottingham City boundary.\

The member schools are:

Bentinck Primary School
Berridge Primary School
Cantrell Primary School
Carrington Primary School
Dovecote Primary School
Fernwood Primary School
Forest Fields Primary School
Foxwood Academy
Glade Hill Primary School
Greenfields Community School
Haydn Primary School
Heathfield Primary School
Hempshill Hall Primary School
Henry Whipple Primary School
Hospital and Home Education and Learning Centre
Melbury Primary School
Mellers Primary School
Milford Academy
Oak Field School & Sports College
Old Basford Primary School
Rise Park Primary School
Robin Hood Primary School
Rufford Primary School
Seely Primary School
Snape Wood Primary School
Southglade Primary School
Southwold Primary School
Walter Halls Primary School
Welbeck Primary School
Westglade Primary School

The Nottingham Schools Trust has also been successful at bidding for additional funding to support school improvement and the success of many of the member schools is one of the reasons that Nottingham City now has the highest proportion of outstanding schools in the region.

The underlying aims of the Trust are to collaborate, participate and respond to the needs of children across the City of Nottingham. Every school, as a member, has a voice in the decision-making process, through the Trust’s open and transparent governance.

Moreover, the Trust values the diversity which exists in member schools and actively encourages each school joining the Trust
to maintain and further develop its own distinctive culture and identity.

Since Nottingham City Council gave the go ahead for the establishment of the Trust the number of new Academy conversions has fallen to zero, helping to protect the community status of many of our local schools. There’s also been a great deal of interest from other areas of the country where there is a desire to introduce a similar model – run by schools, for schools, in the interests of local children.

Councillor Sam Webster
Portfolio Holder for Business, Education and Skills
Nottingham City Council
Twitter: @cllrsamwebster

More information about Nottingham Schools Trust can be found here:
nottinghamschoolstrust.org.uk

Youth Takeover Day

Last Friday, 25th of November, young people from the Youth Cabinet and Children in Care Council joined Councillors, Council officers and MP’s in Nottingham as part of a youth takeover day within the City.

The programme was part of the Children’s Commissioner’s Takeover Challenge, a national initiative to encourage organisations to engage with children and young people.

The day offered young people an insight into making decisions and gave them the chance to put their opinions forward. The scheme was also designed to give Councillors, and others who were buddied up with the young people, new ideas and a fresh approach to the way they work.

Labour Councillors involved included myself, Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years and the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Jackie Morris. Young people joined also joined Nottingham South MP, Lilian Greenwood and Gedling MP, Vernon Coaker.

Teams of young people took over the restaurant at Loxley House, designing the menu and cooking for the day, as well as taking over the Communications and Marketing team at Nottingham City Council.

Nottingham Labour is committed to engaging with young people and we believe offering these sorts of experiences can be a great way for people to find out what they might want to do in the future.

Last year the Children’s Partnership Board adopted a new Participation Strategy to ensure the voice of young citizens is embedded in the decision-making processes of the Council and its partners.

Additionally the Youth Cabinet and Children in Care Council are excellent initiatives that aim to engage young people with politics.

Cllr Sam Webster

Portfolio Holder for Education, Employment & Skills