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This guidance outlines examples of positive approaches that can be used in the prevention of exclusion such as:
- nurturing approaches;
- restorative approaches;
- solution oriented approaches;
- anti-bullying approaches and mentoring approaches such as
Mentors in Violence Prevention.
It is also based on the principles and values embedded within
Getting it right for every child and has a focus on Youth Justice.
Included, engaged and involved part 2: A positive approach to preventing and managing school exclusions (2017)
How to use this self-evaluation approach to improve practice
This guidance can be used to support local authorities and schools in the updating of their own guidance around the prevention and management of school exclusion.
It emphasises a key focus on: prevention and early intervention with an emphasis on robust planning and assessment; effective planning and teaching; the promotion of a positive whole school culture and ethos based on positive relationships and effective leadership.
It also provides guidance for local authorities and schools to develop their own approach to de-escalation and physical intervention (including seclusion) and to the management of incidents involving weapons.
Additionally, it provides information on the impact of exclusion and on specific individual circumstances which should be considered with regard to exclusion.
There is clear statutory guidance around exclusion and additional checklists to support the process prior to, during and following exclusion. Some of the key messages in the document include:
- Exclusion should be a last resort and should have a focus on positive outcomes for the child or young person;
- Exclusion should always be recorded. There should be no unofficial sending home to cool off. There is a duty on education authorities under the 1980 Act to make education provision for excluded pupils without undue delay;
- There is no legal/statutory requirement for a contract or assurance of good behaviour to be in place before a pupil returns to school following an exclusion;
- A support plan should be in place to support the return of an excluded pupil.
When using this guidance to inform their policy and practice, local authorities and schools should ask themselves the following improvement questions:
- Do we have clear guidance which has been adapted to our local context, to support practice around the prevention and management of exclusion?
- To what extent are all the staff within the LA/school aware of this guidance and use it to inform practice?
- How well have we developed a range of preventative and staged approaches to prevent exclusion? Are these embedded throughout the school?
- How well do staff understand that exclusion should be proportionate, should be used as a last resort and should be part of a process to bring about positive outcomes for children and young people?
- Are staff fully aware of the processes around exclusion and their role within these, particularly with regard to prevention and support?