The education inspectorate in Wales said that despite a gradual improvement in secondary school attendance over the past five years, absenteeism remained a concern in nearly one-third of schools inspected in the first three years of the existing inspection cycle and that it disproportionately disadvantaged vulnerable groups of pupils. The report looked at strategies and actions in secondary schools and local authorities to improve attendance, and made a range of recommendations.
Source: Attendance in Secondary Schools, HM Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales
The inspectorate for education and children's services said that a survey showed that teachers, parents, and carers were concerned about the loss of learning time through low-level but persistent disruptive behaviour in schools in England. The report said that the prevalence and negative impact was underestimated by some school leaders, and that many teachers had come to accept some low-level disruption as a part of everyday life in the classroom. The report drew on evidence from school inspections to discuss areas of good practice, and those that could be improved.
Source: Below the Radar: Low-level disruption in the country's classrooms, HMI 140157, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills
The inspectorate for education and children's services published the results of a survey of schools' use of off-site alternative educational provision.
Source: Alternative Provision: A report on the findings from the first year of a three-year survey, HMI 140081, Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills
An article examined four studies of pupil behaviour, to explore the disparities between views of behaviour in English schools, and its impact on learning opportunity and outcomes. It questioned the suggestion that behaviour was satisfactory or better in almost all schools, and suggested ways in which deficits might be addressed.
Source: Terry Haydn, 'To what extent is behaviour a problem in English schools? Exploring the scale and prevalence of deficits in classroom climate', Review of Education, Volume 2 Issue 1
A report evaluated the school exclusion trial, which tested the benefits of schools having greater responsibility for meeting the needs of permanently excluded pupils and those at risk of permanent exclusion.
Source: Institute of Education and National Foundation for Educational Research, School Exclusion Trial Evaluation, Research Report 364, Department for Education
The government issued new non-statutory advice to schools in England regarding mental health and behaviour. It said that one in ten children and young people aged 5 to 16 had a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder and around one in seven had problems at a less severe level. The advice had been developed to clarify the responsibility of schools and to identify how to support a child or young person whose behaviour may be related to an unmet mental health need. The advice would be reviewed in October 2014.
Source: Mental Health and Behaviour in Schools: Departmental advice for school staff, Department for Education
A new book examined bullying in schools, drawing on research evidence from Europe, North America, Australasia, and Asia.
Source: Peter Smith, Understanding School Bullying: Its nature and prevention strategies, SAGE Publications
The children's rights watchdog in Wales said that provision of education in pupil referral units (PRUs) remained inconsistent, and that there was a need to change the general attitude towards the units. The report said that too many children and young people were sent to PRUs after their issues had gone unsupported and had escalated to a point where engaging in education was particularly difficult. It said that the units faced challenges in delivering the curriculum because of issues such as pupil needs, small staff numbers, recruitment challenges, and difficulties in finding good quality alternative and vocational provision for 14 to 19s. Whilst there were examples of good practice, some PRU staff reported finding difficulties securing support from other agencies, and in engaging parents. The report made a range of recommendations for Welsh Government and for the regional education consortia in Wales.
Source: The Right to Learn: Supporting children and young people at pupil referral units to reach their potential, Children's Commissioner for Wales
A report examined bullying on dedicated school transport. It called for better training for transport staff, CCTV monitoring, mentoring or volunteer chaperone schemes, inclusion of the issue in school bullying policies, and greater clarity over responsibility for action.
Source: Paul Vodden, The Vodden Report: Report of an online survey to assess bullying on dedicated school buses, Paul Vodden
A study examined the operation of the two systems for appeal against the permanent exclusion of pupils from schools in England: the independent review panel (IRP); and, for children with special educational needs or disabilities, the first-tier tribunal exclusion appeals system. The report made recommendations.
Source: Claire Wolstenholme, Mike Coldwell, and Bernadette Stiell, Independent Review Panel and First-tier Tribunal Exclusion Appeals systems: Research report, Research Report 313, Department for Education
An article examined the relationship between educational attainment in compulsory schooling and truancy in England and Wales.
Source: Franz Buscha and Anna Conte, 'The impact of truancy on educational attainment during compulsory schooling: a bivariate ordered probit estimator with mixed effects', The Manchester School, Volume 82 Issue 1