Coventry & Warwickshire

Warwickshire pupil exclusion unit to close

A specialist teaching unit for excluded pupils in Warwickshire will close by September 2012, the council has said.

Warwickshire County Council's cabinet has approved proposals to shut the pupil referral unit.

The unit taught 146 excluded pupils in 2010 but was placed in special measures by Ofsted in June.

The county council said it wanted to re-allocate government funds to help excluded pupils remain in their own schools or go to college.

Under the current arrangement in Warwickshire, pupils excluded from mainstream school are educated on a full-time or temporary basis at the county's pupil referral unit.

'Full potential'

But a council spokesman said the rising numbers of exclusions, and concerns raised by Ofsted about the quality of education provision on offer, had led it to investigate whether this was the best way of meeting the needs of excluded children.

The unit has sites in Rugby, Leamington Spa and Keresley.

The Conservative-run authority has proposed that funding will be devolved to schools which will use the resources to work together to provide support to pupils, with the aim of reducing the number of permanent exclusions.

Heather Timms, portfolio holder for children, young people and families, said: "We have recognised that we need to do more to help pupils at risk of exclusion to reach their full potential.

"We are proposing devolving funding to schools to play a more active role in addressing exclusion because they know their pupils best.

"Responses to the consultation confirm that the current arrangements are not working.

"We believe that by introducing a new approach we will be able to meet the needs of more pupils in their own school and provide personalised external support where necessary."

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