The Big Question

    Len Smith – Gypsy activist

    In my culture we suffer a disproportionately high amount of
    exclusion and, unfortunately, truancy. Therefore I welcome any
    constructive action to reduce these, as education is vital. There
    is evidence that money spent on voluntary sector initiatives in an
    effort to cut truancy is at last starting to have an impact.

    Kerry Evans – Parent of two severely autistic

    Autistic children can have challenging behaviour and exclusions
    among this group are largely as result of mainstreaming policy.
    Exclusion rates will only fall if children with complex needs
    receive co-ordinated education, health and care packages and
    education authorities look toward more long-term provision.

    Kierra Box – Young people’s activist

    While initiatives aim to curb “bad” behaviour and reintegrate
    those who don’t “fit in” to the school system, the fundamental
    problem is that a significant number of young people cannot see how
    the education system is relevant to their lives. Possibly it is the
    education system that does not fit truants, rather than they who do
    not fit it.

    Angie Lawrence – Single mother

    The management of school truancy and pupil exclusion has serious
    consequences for youngsters. I am aware that to exclude a pupil is
    to basically write them off. Communication channels between social
    services, schools, parents and pupils need to be well established
    so that all concerned are working to achieve the same aim.   


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