Commenting on the report Improving Alternative Provision from Charlie Taylor, the Government’s expert adviser on behaviour, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers’ union, said:
“Provision for pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties has historically been subjected to relentless re-organisation and change. What is needed is stability not more change.
“Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) must be at the heart of local authority maintained provision. The report is entirely silent about the ongoing demolition of behaviour support teams within local authorities, making totally unrealistic the idea that capacity in schools to manage behaviour will improve.
“There is no rationale for introducing a payment by results trial for alternative provision when dealing with disruptive pupils. Equally the wholesale forced academy conversion is neither required nor needed. This is yet another sector of education that the Governmnet has seized upon as being ripe for privatisation which will be to the detriment of children and young people.
“The focus on information sharing, early information and accurate assessment will certainly help to give students the best chance in their new setting. None of these goals will be achievable however if there is not coherent provision overseen by the local authority.
“Schools are already overstretched. Organisations exist that are committed to comprehensive training and are fit for purpose. For PRUs to take on an additional role in Initial Teacher Training will be extremely difficult and is in neither the pupils’ nor the teachers’ interests.
“Children with behaviour difficulties need the best possible support they can get in order to achieve in later life. Cutting out of the equation the very people with the expertise to do so, through cuts to schools and local authority budgets, is not the way forward.”
For further information contact Caroline Cowie on 0207 380 4706/ 07879480061