Excluded young 'attacker' appeals

27th April 2001 at 01:00
THE mother of a boy whose teachers refused to have him in their classroom because he was allegedly violent has been given leave to appeal.

Earlier this month the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers won a landmark High Court judgment that teachers were entitled to refuse to teach violent and disruptive pupils.

Its 26 members at Bonus Pastor school in Lewisham, south London, had voted unanimously not to teach the boy who had allegedly verbally and physically abused staff and classmates.

He had been permanently excluded from school but was reinstated by governors following an appeal. Tory education spokeswoman Theresa May was applauded for saying Conservatives would scrap the appeals process which has forced many schools to take back violent pupils. Other motions passed by the 1,100 delegates included:

* A joint demand with three other classroom unions that the Government set up an independent inquiry to examine workload and ways of bringing in a 35-hour-week.

* The abolition of local education authority exclusion appeal panels and government targets to reduce exclusions by a third by 2001.

* A ban on naming teachers accused f physical or sexual assaults on pupils until they are proven, with parents being held responsible for their children when they made false allegations.

* A reverse of the policy of inclusion of children with severe behavioural and physical problems.

* A public campaign to highlight the educational benefits of a statutory limit on class sizes.

* Improvements to the Teachers' Pension Scheme so that members may receive their pension before reaching their 60th birthday.

* The suspension of Office for Standards in Education inspections pending fundamental reform to reduce their time, stress and expense.

* More action on workplace bullying in schools.

* An agreement to resist attempts to lengthen the teaching day in order to accommodate the extra demands arising from the introduction of the new A-level Curriculum 2000 changes.

* Changes to the academic year to be supported only if considered to be in the best interests of teachers.

* The establishment of anti-discrimination standards for the management and governance of schools, which should be inspected by OFSTED and result in an increase in women in senior ranks of the profession.

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