(Members declarations of
interest in relation to this item are set out in Minute 35 above)
The Lead Member for People –
Education submitted and introduced a report (HEd/04/19s)
to provide scrutiny with a monitoring report on the levels of fixed term and permanent
exclusions in Wrexham and how this compared to the all Wales data summary
provided by Welsh Government. The report
also provided data in respect of the education, training and employment (ETE)
indicator for the Youth Justice Service.
A revised Fig 3 – Number of Exclusions for over 5 days 2012/23 – 2017/18
Members noted that the level
of fixed term exclusions had increased and that this had been highlighted as a
priority area in the department’s 2019-20 Business Plan. It was also highlighted that a proportion of
excluded pupils also had additional learning needs and further work was being
undertaken in relation to this which would be reported back to Committee at a
future meeting. It was recognised that
very often outside of school influences were linked to disruptive behaviour in
Members considered the report
and referred to the following matters in debate:
provided that the system for reporting exclusions was robust.
The importance of
leadership in schools. The Head of
Education reported that there was evidence to suggest a short term increase in
exclusion following a new Headship as a result of increased aspirations and new
systems and procedures.
increased waiting times for referrals to CAMHs were impacting on behaviour in
schools. The Head of Education
acknowledged that waiting lists for CAMHS were high but stressed that the local
authority had an excellent operational relationship with both the Health Board
and CAMHS. It was important to ensure
that counselling services and interventions provided by the local authority
were maintained. A CAMHS pilot for
in-school training to help teachers identify possible issues and sign-post to
appropriate services was being rolled out.
The role of parents
in ensuring that pupil behaviour boundaries, as set by schools, were adhered
The importance of
consistency of approach in classrooms in respect of levels of acceptable
Noted that it was
not possible to compare school fixed term exclusion levels owing to their
differing demographics and behaviour policies.
There was no
evidence that an underperforming school would have high exclusion rates.
information was provided regarding the guidance provided to schools by the
local authority regarding cyberbullying.
It was noted that often incidents of cyberbullying occurred outside of
school times. The Head of Education
informed the Committee of the project undertaken by Senedd
yr Ifanc in respect of
bullying and advised he would circulate this to members of the Committee.
The Lead Member
reported that further work was required to identify whether there was a
correlation between schools that may have reduced staffing levels as a result
of budget management and incidents of exclusion.
Noted that the
Education department provided support and advice to schools in order to try to
keep ... view the full minutes text for item 38.