School support workers reduce exclusions

Support workers in schools can help to reduce the number of
children excluded, according to a report from the Department for
Education and Skills.

The conclusion is based on the findings from a project that saw
five full time social work trained support workers placed in seven
secondary schools to help pupils at risk of exclusion.

The support workers worked with between 10 and 20 pupils with
challenging behaviour. During the three years, 26 of the pupils
were saved from permanent exclusion, representing a 25 per cent

The project found that having support workers could save schools
significant sums of money. The lower social work pay scales meant
that the support workers were paid less than teachers and senior
managers’ time was saved.

The support workers worked with external agencies, including
social services, the police and health. However while these
agencies were committed to joined up working, in practice
cooperative working was limited by lack of time, different
priorities and confidentiality issues.

A Multi-Agency Approach to Reducing Disaffection and
Exclusions from School

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