Head teacher in Portsmouth excludes more than 80 pupils in a bid to drive up standards
STANDARDS are being driven up at a Portsmouth secondary school after a tough new discipline policy was brought in
More than 80 youngsters were temporarily excluded at Castle View Academy as the principal launches a bid to improve academic attainment.
Castle View, formerly King Richard School, excluded 82 students 200 times last term – up from just 19 pupils 31 times in the same term in 2017.
There are 556 youngsters at the school.
Principal Christian Down has imposed a ‘robust’ behaviour policy when the school joined United Learning Academy Trust on March 1 last year.
Teachers excluded 289 pupils from schools across Portsmouth on 633 separate occasions in the run-up to the Christmas break – a 45 per cent increase in the same period last year.
Mr Down said: ‘We have set extremely high standards at Castle View Academy as we want our students to get the most out of their education with us.
‘To this end, since joining United Learning last year we have introduced a clear and robust behaviour policy that enables our students to learn in a disruption-free environment.
‘The vast majority of students have embraced our high expectations and we have seen a transformational improvement in behaviour across the school which is leading to higher academic achievement.
‘Exclusions are only ever used as a last resort and we always work with our students and their families to help them remain at school and attend lessons.’
It comes as senior police officials have said excluded children are ‘the most likely to be involved’ in the knife crime epidemic across the country.
Portsmouth City Council has previously warned that if youngsters are kicked out permanently they are put at risk of child exploitation and drug abuse. Permanent expulsions at schools in Portsmouth are rare – and the fixed-period exclusion rate has increased in line with a national trend.
Councillor Suzy Horton, cabinet member for education, said: ‘It's part of a national rise in exclusions and isn't unique to Portsmouth.
‘Lots of schools in the city are bucking this trend, working with each other and the council on new “challenge and support” approaches to strengthen relationships within schools.’
Ark Charter Academy excluded 56 pupils on 187 occasions, up from 39 students on 73 occasions.
In all, secondary school pupils were excluded for a total of 958 days – up from 910 days.
University Technology College Portsmouth sanctioned no exclusions. Miltoncross Secondary School and St Edmund’s Catholic School had four students excluded across the whole of last term, up from three in the term the previous year.
Education leaders at the council have been urging parents to back their Miss School, Miss Out campaign in a bid to reduce overall absences.
There were far fewer incidents of exclusion across the city’s primary schools with a total of 57 pupils excluded during the last academic term on 98 occasions.