28th April 2000 at 01:00

MANAGING SUCCESSFUL INCLUSION: The Pastoral Support Programme in Practice. By Liz Smith and Bill MacPherson. Senter. pound;39.50 (book andCD-Rom). Tel: 0800 616692Senter, Freepost NT2550, Whitley Bay, NE26 1BR

These resources are offered in response to the DfEE's Circular 1099 requiring schools to set up pastoral support programmes tohelp prevent exclusion of pupils with challenging behaviour. Composite pupil case studies (one primaryand one secondary) illustrate the stages and forms in action.

While teachers areencouraged to adapt the resources - a set of forms in an organised framework with guidance notes on how they should be used, available on paper or CD-Rom - they are presented so that theycan be used as prescribe. They should save time,focus efforts, and support good practice. Like most such resources, however, they risk simplisticresponding, following an unquestioned formulanot owned by the school.

There is little here to support more critical analysis of the issues surrounding challenging behaviour and exclusioninclusion and the practical suggestions of what teachers can actually do with pupils at risk of exclusion are very limited.

Used in partnership with wider reading, Inset and discussion the resources could be put to good use.Used in isolation, however, they could be limitingrather than enabling.

Melanie Nind Melanie Nind is a senior lecturer in inclusive and special education at the Open University

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