15th Sep, 2019

New education centre for Solihull's excluded school-children

Felix Nobes 21st Feb, 2018 Updated: 22nd Feb, 2018

AN EDUCATION centre for permanently excluded pupils will be moved to provide ‘a much improved learning environment.’

Summerfield Education Centre will open its doors at its new home in Jensen House in Smiths Wood to 11 to 16-year-olds on February 28.

Councillor Ken Meeson, cabinet member for children, education and skills, has promised it will be a ‘much improved learning environment’.

Coun Meeson said: “Moving the Summerfield Education Centre to the Jensen House site will be much better for the pupils.

“They won’t have so far to travel and they will have much more space too.

“Altogether this will make for a much improved learning environment where we can support our youngsters and get them back on track.”

Many of the pupils have to travel several miles to get to the Summerfirld Road site.

The opportunity to move the education centre to bigger premises came up when the Jensen site became empty.

Although recently used for offices, it was originally an education centre so planning permission was given for it to revert to its original use.

Solihull school children are suffering the seventh highest permanent exclusion rates in the UK, latest figures show.

The council has since made the reduction or management of persistent absence from school a top priority.

Schools exclude pupils from the premises on a temporary or permanent basis as a result of behavioural problems.

According to latest figures from the government’s Department of Education, Solihull has one of the poorest records in the UK when it comes to permanent exclusion and persistent absence.

It ranks seventh worst out of 153 local authorities for overall permanent exclusion rates for state-funded primary, state-funded secondary and special schools.

It is also has the twelfth worst rate for permanent exclusion in state-funded secondary schools.

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