COMMENT: Our teachers are in real  need of much more support 

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It’s not very nice at all to read the latest figures regarding the exclusion of pupils from schools across our area -but what is the cause and more importantly is there an answer?

Beleagured headteachers forced to exclude hundreds more pupils a year have warned budget cuts mean they can no longer employ enough support staff to deal with a rise in bad behaviour.

It’s also interesting to hear Mike Stoneman, Portsmouth City Council’s deputy director of families, said that the reasons for the rise are complex but include tight budgets, which have seen levels of pastoral and behaviour support decrease in schools.

He also said that schools are having to provide education for pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs who in the past might have been placed in special schools, and that teacher recruitment and retention issues and rising pupil numbers were also factors.

A tough situation indeed for all school staff.

Then again, for the unruly pupils, isn’t it time for their parents to question their behaviour?

Long gone are the days of the cane or slipper across the backside or a slap with a ruler across the palm of the hand which seemed to cure bad behaviour for a good while.

Perhaps it’s because nowadays pupils know there is no really ’harsh punishment’ and exclusion only really means they’ll have more time to post on Facebook and Twitter via their smartphones.

These sort of unruly pupils take the support away from the ones Mr Stoneman mentioned – those who have genuine  social, emotional and mental health needs.

There is no easy solution staring anyone in the face but something must be done to support our teaching staff who dedicate themselves to helping our future generations succeed in life.