AN INFLUX of pupils excluded from schools elsewhere is expected to cost Wiltshire Council another £400,000.
The council’s Schools Forum has approved the cash to cope with the increase, which is caused by families moving into the county. The youngsters have to be placed with schools, which are responsible for finding alternative provision for them, at a cost of anything between £15,000 and £30,000 for each pupil per year.
A report to the forum from corporate director Carolyn Godfrey, said: “The increasing number of pupils coming into Wiltshire requiring high-cost packages has increased the pressure on the budget allocated across secondary schools.”
It said there has also been an increase in normal Year 11 pupils coming into Wiltshire, who although they are not in the “Hard to Place” category, still require additional support and individual tuition. Altogether, the report said it was expected there would be about 30 extra excluded pupils and 20 more Year 11s in 2014-2015 and it was proposed that £8,000 per pupil be allocated to assist with their education.
The forum, a statutory body which is composed of head teachers and school governor representatives, has to be consulted on funding matters.
The Journal has previously reported how Wiltshire Council has abolished its Pupil Referral Unit and Young People’s Support Service as part of a Government-sponsored trial scheme to improve provision for permanently excluded pupils. Responsibility for the pupils and a budget of £2.6 million has been passed on to secondary schools. Within Wiltshire permanent exclusions have dropped to zero since the scheme began in 2012.