Violent children need time out

16th June 2006 at 01:00
How wrong can Audrey Osler be? ("It's different for girls," TES Cymru, June 9.) Boys and girls who are violent andor seriously and persistently disruptive cannot be allowed to endanger the health and safety of other pupils or ruin the education and life chances of the majority.

The root causes of their behaviour should be investigated and, if possible, addressed. Are there undiagnosed special needs, literacy problems, mental health or sexual abuse issues?

That is why every local education authority should provide a network of on and off-site pupil referral units, staffed with people who have appropriate qualifications and experience to offer help and support.

This would provide a ladder of inclusion - not exclusion - which gives the pupil more chances to get it right and, if possible, to be reintegrated into mainstream schooling as quickly as possible.

The alternative to a network of PRUs is straightforward exclusion, with perhaps a few hours of home tuition.

Which would Audrey Osler prefer?

Paul Howard Davies, teacher

Poplar Close, Coedpoeth, Wrexham

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