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Falmouth mother claims family penalised after kids sent home from school
6:00am Friday 13th December 2013 in News
Falmouth school has denied a family's claims that it is unjustly preventing their children from receiving a full education.
The Quick family has three children at the school, and say that it has failed to provide the necessary level of support for two of them, while the third one has been sent home from school for minor reasons.
Mother Vicky Lee Quick says her eldest child Jade, 15, who has been diagnosed with learning difficulties including dyslexia and dyspraxia, has had measures such as extra exam time blocked by the school.
She said: “We decided to send her to Camborne college three weeks ago, and they agreed, but we're still waiting to hear. She's been out of school for three weeks and the head has refused to let her have lessons in the meantime.”
Speaking of her second child Kane, 12, Mrs Quick said: “Six months prior to his starting, the school were told he had mental health requirements and special needs. They said they would put a plan in place but when he started attending the head teacher put it all out and tried to put him into normal classes.”
Instead he was provided with a tutor for 10 hours a week, on the school premises, through the organisation CHES, and the rest of the time his parents cared for him.
“But”, Mrs Quick said, “The head refused to let the tutor use equipment for lessons such as music or science.”
The family had another discussion with CHES, to see if Kane could be sent somewhere else, and they say that when head Brett Miners found out about this, he said he might as well go now, meaning he'll miss two and a half weeks of school.
The family say their third child Jordan, 10, has been sent home several times from school for minor problems such as a forgotten tie or pencil case.
Mrs Quick said: “Four weeks ago he forgot to take in pens and pencils and he was sent home. We offered to take them in, but the head said it was not acceptable and Jordan had to be punished. The next day he was given a three day exclusion.”
The family said Jordan was sent home again the following week, and then the week after that for wearing trainers,”
Mrs Quick said: “He could have attended 96 hours and he's only attended 35 and been excluded for the rest.
“I had the welfare officer onto me for attendance. I explained what happened and she looked into it and said we were right.
“I asked what they were going to do about it because it's disgusting that children have missed that much school, but she said they can't do anything because it's an academy.”
On one occasion, said Mrs Quick, Jordan was sent home to an empty house, and she had to be called by a neighbour because he was locked out, and “They didn't even check if he'd got home.”
She also said that according to the welfare officer, the school needs to send work home if they exclude a pupil.
“But the first two times,” she said, “there was no work, and the other time it was work he'd already done.”
When asked about the accusations, Mr Miners said: “The overwhelming majority of students never need an exclusion from school and we are proud as a school to have so many well behaved students and supportive parents and carers. We will continue to have the highest aspirations and standards for the young people of Falmouth in an environment that promotes and demonstrates mutual respect. There is no place at our school for violent, threatening or abusive behaviour towards any members of our school community and the governing body will not tolerate such behaviour if it occurs.
Whilst the school will not comment on individual cases, I can confirm that the pupil exclusion rates at Falmouth School, over time, are quite a way below the national averages for similar schools. When fixed term exclusions are issued, they are completed in line with the national policy and guidelines that all schools are asked to follow. Since the start of term the school has needed to issue an exclusion from school for a period of time for, on average, one to two students a week in a school of over 1000 students.”
Regarding access for the CHES tutor, he said: “Community & Hospital Education Service is part of the Acorn Academy Cornwall chain that exists in Cornwall to provide the appropriate educational support for students. It is inappropriate for us to answer any question regarding out of school CHES provision. Falmouth School works with a number of external partners to ensure that all students are given the very best support and educational opportunities.”
The family asked “If it's three out of our family, how many other kids are being excluded?”
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