Abstracts: September 21st, 2004

By Rosemary Webb and Graham VulliamyThis report presents the findings of a project where five social work trained home-school support workers gave support over a three year period to 208 pupils at risk of exclusion in seven schools. The rationale for the project was that by reducing rates of exclusion future offending behaviour might be reduced. Casework with between ten and twenty pupils with challenging behaviours formed the core of the support workers’ role. Through their casework and crisis management support workers contributed to developing a school environment more tolerant of pupils with challenging behaviours.

Over the duration of the project 26 caseload pupils were saved from permanent exclusion, representing a 25% reduction in permanent exclusions across the project schools. The peak school age for offending behaviour was 14 years and three quarters of offenders were male. Acquisitive property offences constituted the highest proportion of offences followed by violent offences. The offending profile provided further evidence to support the link between permanent exclusion and subsequent offending and also suggested that involvement in the support workers’ caseloads had little or no impact on reducing caseload pupils’ offending whilst they were still at school.

Published by the Department for Education and Skills and available at: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR568.pdf