Report of the Chief Executive Officer.
Trustees considered a report of the Chief Executive Officer outlining the pilot Alternative Provision, Respite and Managed Moves Protocol and the following points were made:
· The Protocol had been developed to reduce permanent exclusions, fixed-term exclusions and external sixth day provision across the Trust by establishing a brokerage system between Trust schools for respite and managed moves in which existing resources could be better managed. It was anticipated that the proposed arrangements would reduce the number of short fixed-term exclusions as a stronger behaviour culture developed across the Trust, and that an efficient transfer arrangement between schools sharing a similar ethos would create a more positive experience for affected pupils. It was hoped to involve the two City-sponsored academies the City Academy Hackney and the City of London Academy Islington in the proposed new arrangements. The City of London Academy Southwark would continue to work with neighbouring schools to broker respite and managed moves and was also planning to build closer working links with Redriff Primary City of London Academy where Year 7 pupils might benefit from engaging in active support with younger children.
· By increasing access to respite, more preventative work could be undertaken with pupils identified as being at risk of exclusion which would also help build understanding with parents and carers over Trust-wide expectations around behaviour. A Governor observed that respite placements could be used as a pathway to successful managed moves. The increased use of managed moves between schools within the Trust would also minimise the time students spent out of formal education and would provide a positive means of maintaining the mainstream education of pupils who displayed persistently disruptive behaviour. The Chief Executive Officer explained that dual registration would be maintained for pupils joining a new school under a managed move which would enable them to transfer back to their original school if this was felt appropriate. The exam results of dual-registered pupils would be attributed to their original school unless their dual-registration was removed by mid-January. The current arrangements for lagged funding meant that schools would not receive funding for pupils joining via a managed move for approximately 18 months; however, the cost of pupils joining existing classes would be marginal.
· The Trust was looking for opportunities to establish longer term alternative provision arrangements to avoid the necessity to permanently exclude students. There was an ambition for such a provision to draw on best practice and become a centre of excellence which, following initial start-up costs, would eventually be self-financing. The Chief Executive Officer observed that, as a Regional National Behaviour Advisor for the Department for Education, he was well-placed to identify best practice in effective out-of-school provision as well as any potential funding opportunities in this area.
In concluding, Trustees requested that an update on the Trust’s plans to establish its own alternative provision be reported to the meeting of the Standards and Accountability Committee on 30 April 2020. Trustees also requested that a reporting mechanism be developed to assess the impact of the Alternative Provision, Respite and Managed Moves Protocol, which could include key metrics around the number of exclusions. The Chief Executive Officer confirmed that a termly audit would be undertaken on pupils being moved via the Protocol, the findings of which would be reported to the Standards and Accountability Committee and the Board of Trustees, and that this would provide valuable context for Ofsted in assessing school performance.
RESOLVED, that the Alternative Provision, Respite and Managed Moves Protocol be supported and that its effectiveness in reducing permanent exclusions, fixed-term exclusions and external sixth day provision be reviewed.