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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