26/06/2011 The Politics Show South East


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Coming up in the South East: Figures for school exclusions show


the majority of children permanently excluded from Kent's


schools have special educational needs.


Will the Government have elected Police Commissioners in place by


Apology for the loss of subtitles for 2518 seconds


Welcome to the politics show. Coming up: 90% of primary school


children excluded from Kent schools have special educational needs. We


ask the leader of Kent council why the figures are so high. Would


elected police commissioners make our police forces more accountable


ought to political? The Education Secretary has intervened in a Kent


primary school where almost three- quarters of the children do not


Startling figures for school exclusions show the majority of


children permanently excluded from Kent's schools have special


educational needs. A Freedom of Information request by a former


Kent head teacher shows 90% of primary and 54% of secondary


exclusions involved children with conditions like autism. In Medway,


not a single child with special educational needs was excluded. And


in East Sussex, the figures are also much lower than in Kent. In a


moment I'll be speaking to the Conservative Leader of Kent County


Council, Paul Carter, but first How would we make it an equal


number each? Joshua from Tonbridge has asked burgers. He was


temporarily excluded from a mainstream school at the start of


the year. His mother said there was no option but to home-school him.


We were tired of fighting the battles. We always had assumed it


was a child's right to have an education. We thought the support


would be in place when we had the initial diagnosis. We were just


tired of fighting and tired of the stress. We took it as far as we


could and got it know where. There was no option but to home school.


Recent figures give an idea of the scale of the issue in Kent. Of the


children excluded in secondary schools in the county last year,


54% had educational needs. That rises for primary school exclusions


to 91%. This is in stark contrast with other authorities. Medway


excluded no children last year. In East Sussex, it was just over 9%.


believe these figures are then indictment of Kent County Council


which sets the tone for treatment of children with special needs. A


large number compared to other local authorities says Gent has got


it wrong. Kent should have been doing something more. What I want


to see now is for Kent to will take a more proactive role. What could


Kent be doing? Some say they should use independent advocates. John


runs a club for fathers of children with autism. We were talking about


a club in Maidstone. We feel everything that is put against the


parents is in a house. Perhaps some sort of independent advocate who


could look at these situations rather than someone on the county


council looking at it so that it is Rebecca Beazley also believes Kent


council should take a more active role. We had always been under the


impression that schools fell under the remit of the council. When we


have contacted the council about these problems, we get pushed back


For many professionals such as those teaching at special needs


schools, the real problem lies in Maxy -- mainstream schools going --


I think it may be because mainstream schools are not able to


deal with the wide range of special needs that we have. Special --


children with special educational needs being excluded is down to the


fact that more schools need additional support in terms of


understanding the needs. message from teachers and parents


is clear, they went Kent County Council to take more responsibility


for the education of children with special educational needs. They say


it is time the council stopped washing its hands of this problem


by simply allowing schools to wash their hands of this problem.


Joining me in the studio is the Conservative Leader of Kent County


Council, Paul Carter. This was your department before you became


council leader. There is at serious problem here when you look at the


number of exclusions. What will you do about it? I do have concerns. It


is worth understanding that hour exclusion rate is virtually the


same as virtually every other authority in the country. But there


seems to be an extraordinary number with special educational needs


within that grouping. We have been on a journey to make sure we do


have good schools for children with special needs. And I think it is


the halfway house indecent port -- in support. Are they failing to


support children with special educational needs and is it not


time you went into banks and heads together? We invented an outreach


source support. It is being rolled out across the county. What we need


more units attached to mainstream schools. We have been slow in


getting that under way. I will now focus to make sure we have more


units. The autism unit in one school is a perfect example. Should


you ask every school that wants to exclude a pupil with special


educational needs Kazakh it is outreach support. Kent council does


not exclude pupils, it is schools that exclude pupils. We have to


will support these children with educational needs. The mother of


the boy in the report said nobody is holding the schools to account.


Why I am not asking these questions of the head teachers? Let us


examine this in great detail. We need to understand why schools are


finding it necessary to exclude so many pupils as part of this with


educational needs? We need more units attached to mainstream


schools. We could get the Smile Centre Initiative under way in the


other districts in the county. Medway and not excluding any pupils


with special educational needs. At their procedures there that you


could put in place? We are doing managed moves in Kent. Local


authorities up and down the land 10 years ago close their special


schools. We preserve them. When it comes to vulnerable children, we


have high levels of exclusion. At the end of last year, a highly


critical report after a surprise Ofsted visit revealed serious


problems with your children's services. Is there a wider issue


that a big council with a lot of money is failing vulnerable


children? We are supporting children with special educational


needs. I am looking beyond education are now. We and now


starting to implement a significant improvement plan to make sure we


have the best support to vulnerable young people in Kent. We have


looked after children of our own and those from London boroughs


placed into Kent. It has said on radio this week -- I have had long


conversations with Jenny. We have to innovate and modernise the way


we support our vulnerable young people. That is what we will do in


the next few weeks but that it is one plank that has to be in place.


It could transform the lives for young people. Will your exclusions


be lower next year? I very much hope so. Our exclusion rate is the


same as for the rest of the country, why so many with educational needs


are in these figures, we must work on it.


The introduction of Police Commissioners would be a sad day


for British Policing according to Anne Barnes, who's the Chairman of


Kent's Police Authority. But the Government is determined to have


elected Police Commissioners in place and earning �122,000 a year


by next spring. Critics say with both Kent and Sussex Police forces


having to make more than �50 million worth of savings over the


next four years, elected Police Commissioners are an expense our


forces cannot afford. Joining me now from Dover is the


Conservative MP for Folkestone and Hythe, Damian Collins, and the


former Labour MP for Gillingham, Paul Clark, is in Chatham. You are


a politician, you believe in elections, why you Against these


elections? What the whole scheme will will do is put in the hands of


one single politician a great deal This person will have the right to


hire and fire the chief constable. We have no checks and balances in


place to stop that one individual who is elected on a four-year cycle.


Our police force is are facing some 1500 job cuts. To spend �100


million on elected commissioners does not seem the right priority.


Let us pick up a couple of those points. Let us start with the to


much power in one set of hands. Why I your party so determined to go


ahead with this? We want greater accountability for what the police


do. The public needs to know some and they have elected is


accountable to them. The problem with police and authorities is


nobody knows who were there aren't what they do. People would take a


great deal of confidence knowing someone they have elected is


standing for them. The person elected will not have day-to-day


operational command of the police, they were not tell the Chief


Constable what to do. They will be the people's representative in


those meetings at police headquarters and reminding the


Chief Constable about the work. chief constable said he didn't have


any problem with the current system. What is wrong with the current


system if people are happy with it? The current chief constable is


doing a good job and he will run his foster the best of his


abilities. The question here is public confidence and public


accountability. If you have someone the public elects directly, that is


the most important thing. The biggest complaint you have from


local communities is what are the police doing and why are they not


listening to us. This reform put the public voice at the heart of


policing. I know you want to come in on this point. The public voice


is an important point. If the public went the police to


concentrate on a particular form of policing, why is that a bad thing.


What was being argued there is that the police commissioner would not


have direct control over day-to-day policing. The other point was the


What is the point of spending �100 million on this contract you would


have power in the hands of one politician while at the moment, the


Kent police are authority has turned the odd members who are all


elected meant birds. They are not elected to the police of poverty.


They are put in place. They have a role to play and be cover the


political spectrum. If the issue is that people do not know who or and


dances, let us deal with that problem. They work with the police


to deliver safer communities and safe at St. Let us talk about the


issue of money. The Home Secretary says there are value for money.


You're not taking into account the savings in the police of poverty


Budget. That role will change with police commissioners coming in. You


would have a leaner structure. The Kent police have done a good job on


focusing savings on the backroom costs and efficiency is at keeping


more money in the front line. They will be more resources in front


line services after the reforms. Pike are very much for being with


us today. We're back with education now, our


political editor Louise Stewart has been looking at the problems and


possible solutions for a Gravesend Primary where 63% of the children


don't have English as a first language. Teachers at Chantry


primary school says it's putting a strain on the education system.


Well an intervention has come from on high. The Education Secretary,


Michael Gove, has stepped in and linked the school with nearby


Meopham Community Academy. Louise what's the idea behind linking


these two schools? The whole idea is that the school was taking


special measures last January. What is happening now is that it has


made good progress since that time with an advisory head teacher being


taken in. But from September, it will be linked with a community


Academy. It is hoped that is now a standing school and this is all


behind me to go's big idea on academies. They will be asked to be


twinned with schools like this who have taken special measures who


seemed to be failing schools. He believes this will bring them up.


This is part of the education secretary Michael Gove's big plan


to get every school to apply for academy status isn't it? Michael


Gove has asked and written to every school asking them if they went to


become academies. What that will give them is greater freedom from


the local a authorities and from national government. They will be


able to lengthen school terms if they want to. They will have much


more say and they will be able to pay teachers what they want to know.


They will be able to attract better teachers by paying more. In Kent,


57 applications have been approved to become academies. 27 in Surrey.


Medway has 10. West Sussex has five and East Sussex have one. This book


to Paul Clark about academies, there is a stark difference between


those under Tony Blair and those now. It is strange that they have


the same name because they have a different philosophy. Many people


said it was a good renaming. But this has been content just and


confusing. The idea of academies for Tony Blair was failing schools.


They would get more money and help with their infrastructure. That


would help to bring standards up. These academies are elite schools


which are already getting outstanding marks. That is the


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