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BMAT trust aims for zero permanent exclusion for Essex schoolchildren

BMAT trust aims for zero permanent exclusion for Essex schoolchildren

Children at risk of being permanently excluded from school are being offered a lifeline launching next month.

BMAT, which operates primary and secondary schools in Essex and east London, is working closely with Essex County Council to fill the gap in the provision of alternative education.

The education trust prides itself on removing barriers to ensure all children are freed to succeed during their school years.

Helena Mills CBE and BMAT CEO, said: “Our aim is to have zero permanent exclusions from either primary or secondary schools. We are talking about young people who need to learn social and emotional skills.

“We want to ensure the most vulnerable pupils get the extra support they need. We believe we have a moral duty to help those young people who have reached a crisis point in their lives.

“We have always done everything we can within BMAT to help all of our students. But, there has been nowhere suitable to send those students who require an alternative provision.

“Essex approached us as a result of our track record of significantly reducing permanent exclusions in our schools and asked us to help.

“It is time someone stepped up and did this.”

Since April, the BMAT has been working with secondary students part of their trust including, Burnt Mill Academy, Epping St John’s Church of England School and BMAT STEM Academy.

Up to 12 students at a time are placed on the 12-week course after being referred by their headteacher, with the aim of them being successfully re-integrated back to school.

From September, the Trust will work with the county council to offer Phoenix Provision and Grow Provision for primary aged pupils in Uttlesford and Harlow respectively.

Pupils will remain the responsibility of their home school, with collaboration between them and the alternative provision for the good of the young person and their future.

Ms Mills said: “Pupils will get quite personalised attention with almost one to one teaching. The important thing is, pupils will go back to their home school and permanent exclusion will have been avoided.

“I believe we can change behaviour with the right resources. The people we have leading these provisions are very knowledgeable about special educational needs and are very committed to helping the most challenging young people.”

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