Sunday, 14 September 2014

Update on Ashley Gardens Primary PRU closure

I understand that the closure of the Primary Referral Unit (PRU) at Ashley Gardens, near Preston Road, Wembley is to go ahead at the end of the month and the current staff will lose their jobs.

The Council has had discussions with the parents of the children who have been excluded from mainstream school. Some will be bussed daily to the Anna Freud Free School in Islington.  Anna Freud has a therapeutic approach to education.The total cost, including transport, is £18,500 annually  per child which the Council claim is cheaper than other placements.  Others will be integrated back into mainstream school.

Although this settles things for the moment, there is still no long-term solution to the problem of primary age children excluded from school. More children are likely to be excluded in the future, particularly with the 'too much, too soon' curriclum changes that come into effect this academic year.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Year 1 boys in particular find the demands of a 'sit down, sit still, and learn' approach difficult and react against it - sometimes getting labelled as a behaviour problem or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) in the process.

Brent Council has a statutory responsibility for the education of excluded children.

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