More help for troubled kids

A report by the Government's behaviour expert recommends improvements for Pupil Referral Units - where children are sent when excluded from school.

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Future criminals 'could be spotted' as toddlers

Three teenagers walk with a toddler.
Nurseries should identify toddlers showing early signs of aggression, according to Charlie Taylor. Credit: ITN/ Channel 4

Children at risk of "going off the rails" and descending into a life of crime can be spotted as young as two, according to the government's behaviour expert Charlie Taylor.

He said it was important to show the worse behaved children how to socialise as toddlers.

Giving young children proper boundaries at a such an age makes it easier for them them to learn how to behave. He said:

"Any child can go off the rails for a bit and what we need is a system that is responsive to them and helps them to get back on the straight and narrow.”

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Pupil Referral Units in numbers

Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) educate children excluded from mainstream school for violence, drug use and bullying:

  • There are currently 400 Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) in the UK
  • Only 1% of the 50,000 pupils excluded from mainstream schools leave PRU education with 5 GCSEs
  • compared to 51% of those who remain

Main recomendations for improved Pupil Referral

The main recommendations from the independent review include:

  • Ensuring that all children in alternative provision continue to receive appropriate and challenging English and Maths teaching.
  • Schools rather than local authorities should become responsible for commissioning alternative provision and PRU services.
  • Schools should share all relevant information about the pupil they are sending to alternative provision with providers.
  • The Department for Education should commission a payment by results trial for alternative provision.
  • Schools should look at using money they currently spend on alternative provision to build up their capacity for managing pupils’ behaviour.
  • Ofsted should challenge schools on their use of alternative provision.
  • Ofsted should improve its intelligence gathering on poor practice

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