The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support submitted a report in order to seek off Cabinet, formal approval and adoption of Bridgend County Borough Council’s Reduced Timetable Policy (attached at Appendix A to the report).
He confirmed that there was no statutory basis upon which to establish a reduced timetable, however, in exceptional circumstances, schools may need to implement a reduced timetable in order to support a pupil who cannot attend school for a full day for a variety of reasons.
Schools, pupil referral units (PRUs) and educational settings have a statutory duty to ensure all pupils on their roll receive a full time educational entitlement and achieve good outcomes, the Corporate Director – Education and Family Support added.
The Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) is a school-based intervention to help individual pupils to better manage their behaviour and to identify any support mechanisms which need to be put in place. The PSP should identify precise and realistic behavioural outcomes for the pupil to work towards. PSPs could also be used in other circumstances, such as a managed move or returning to school from a long health related absence.
The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support advised, that as there was no statutory basis to establish a reduced timetable, it was important that there is an element of consistency and equity for all pupils in schools, PRU and educational settings, who, for one reason or another may require a phased reintegration back into full time education for a limited amount of time.
A database was being developed in order to capture accurate data on the number of pupils who are on a reduced timetable in schools, PRU and educational settings in Bridgend County Borough.
He concluded his report, by confirming that reduced timetables will be monitored by the Access to Education Panel, which meets on a monthly basis. This approach would ensure that there is consistent, regular oversight of any pupil that is not accessing full-time education.
The Cabinet Member – Education and Regeneration supported the proposals of the report.
The Leader asked how the impact of the Policy would be monitored, with regards to individuals with protected characteristics.
The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support confirmed that the Policy could affect and support any learner at any time and that those that were particular recipients of the Policy provisions were, pupils regarded as anxious non-attendees at school, pupils with mental health issues, pupils affected by a managed move and pupils with physical issues, amongst certain other characteristic groups. In terms of the detail of such monitoring arrangements, he added that he would be happy to provide this to any Member who wished to receive it including the Leader, outside of the meeting.
The Cabinet Member – Wellbeing and Future Generations asked how many pupils were on a Reduced Timetable throughout the County Borough and when on this Timetable, how long was it before they returned to back to an integrated school based setting.
The Corporate Director – Education and Family Support in response to the first point, advised that these figures fluctuate and vary almost on a daily basis though once the Policy was in place, this would allow for further data such as this to be qualified, quantified and in turn collated. Each pupil would be re-integrated back into their school environment at their own speed, on their own individual merits and through analysing for example, outcomes in their Personal Support Plan’s (PSP’s).
RESOLVED: That Cabinet formally adopted and approved the Reduced Timetable Policy.