Reducing exclusions in Dundee schools has been described as a “controversial” move but the “right thing to do”.
Members of Dundee City Council’s children and family services committee heard that the number of looked-after children excluded from schools dropped from 333 to 210 between 2015-16 and 2016-17, due to the local authority’s continued policy of preferring early intervention measures.
However, Maryfield Labour councillor Georgia Cruickshank asked: “Is keeping more misbehaving children in school having a knock-on effect on teachers?
“Are they having to deal with more disruptive pupils?
“I welcome the decrease but there has to be a balance.”
In response, SNP Strathmartine councillor Stewart Hunter said: “It’s controversial but I think it’s the right thing to do.
“I think it’s important to say that just because a child is not excluded it doesn’t mean they are still in the classroom.”
Executive director of children and families service Paul Clancy said exclusions were a “very, very last measure” and that there was “no research that showed they were effective”.
He conceded that there were “real challenges” associated with reduced exclusions but said he felt it was “disgraceful” to simply put excluded young people in “some off-site unit”.