Wednesday, 21 May 2008

A bold move to boost discipline

At a time when the media is trying to pretend that the government has run out of ideas (though seems a loss to explain what the Tories offer instead), it is perhaps unsurprising that so little attention has been given to a ground-breaking proposal from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

In an overdue overhaul of the pupil referral units for excluded pupils, replacing the poorest PRUs with alternatives delivered by private (including for profit) providers and charitable bodies, there should be much better provision for those at risk of exclusion, getting disruptive pupils out of the classroom quickly and offering many a better chance of gaining qualifications that many PRUs offer (although some PRUs are very good, despite the bad press they all have).

While more should be done to give headteachers powers to purchase places in the new units, this is both a more radical and a more practical proposal on the subject than the Tories' alternative which rests on the mad idea that if you scrap appeal panels, discipline will be transformed overnight. It deserves a lot more attention than it has had.

1 comment:

oldandrew said...

The PRU proposal sounds less than impressive. The effectiveness of PRUs for the kids they take is not the issue on discipline, it's how many kids they will take out of mainstream and how quickly.

There have been promises about PRUs going all the way back to the 1997 manifesto, but 11 years later mainstream schools are still saddled with out of control kids they can do nothing with.