Permanent exclusion can have a serious effect on children who are removed from school and isolated from their peers. It is therefore essential that each case where a child would be permanently excluded is considered in depth and follows the government guidelines correctly.

However, this task has been made more difficult as just weeks after introducing new exclusion guidelines, the government has been forced into backing off their new, tougher stance, thus causing yet more headaches for school leaders and governors who now need to refer back to the 2012 guidance which had been replaced.

The U-turn came after lawyers defending pupils threatened with permanent exclusions argued that under the new guidelines, even more children would be facing exclusion from school. They also threatened legal action against the education secretary, Nicky Morgan, claiming the changes were introduced with no prior warning.

Nick Gibb, the schools reform minister, was forced to withdraw the revised guidance following the complaints. The Department for Education (DfE) has stated that updated guidance would be issued in due course. Handsam will of course keep clients up to date with the new guidance once issued.

The decision to repeal the guidance was welcomed by Just for Kids Law, which represents children in exclusion appeals. The organisation went on to warn that the new guidelines may have already adversely affected some pupils.  Continue reading

Defibrillators save lives. They can keep a patient alive for vital minutes while the emergency services arrive.

Three schools in Manchester have worked together to provide defibrillators to ensure the safety of students and staff who may have known or as yet undiagnosed heart conditions.

This all came about through Pamela Statham and her daughters Jessica and Frankie, who all have Long QT syndrome; a rare but serious heart condition that can disrupt heart rhythm.

Pamela and her daughters, as well as three other members of their family, were diagnosed with the disorder after her 10-month-old son Jamie, who Pamela suspects also suffered from Long QT, died in his sleep in 2007.

Their sad story led to 12-year-old Jessica’s school Buile Hill College, her former school Light Oaks Junior and Frankie’s school St Johns’ Primary getting the defibrillators as well as first-aid training for staff and pupils. Continue reading

Wellbeing Officers could be appointed in state schools to improve the health of pupils and teachers according to a new report. 

Healthcare organisation Nuffield Health has said that dedicated ongoing support from the proposed specialist officers would help tackle problems such as rising levels of obesity and poor emotional wellbeing.

Nuffield is launching a pilot project in a UK secondary school, which will include a bespoke health and wellbeing programme to meet the needs of the local area.  

Nuffield also says that there is a clear need for a wellbeing initiative to focus not only on the physical aspect, but also emotional factors, citing research provided by 2020health indicating that 75% of school children with mental illness go undiagnosed.
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