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Disgraceful Labelling: Race, Special Education and Exclusion
Disgraceful Labelling: Race, Special Education and Exclusion

It took fifty years before a TV programme was made about a disgraceful period in Britain’s educational history that has had long lasting effects on thousands of people from minority groups, especially those of Black Caribbean Heritage. “Subnormal: A British Scandal (20th May 2021) directed by Steve McQueen and produced by Lytanna Shannon provided a much needed service in bringing a dismal period of ‘education’ to public attention. The special education area is littered with insulting labels, and assumptions were and still are made that children who have learning difficulties or whom teachers regard as troublesome, can be labelled and removed from mainstream schooling. Read more

Silence in the experience of exclusion
Silence in the experience of exclusion

In December 2020 we launched our first feature length documentary – ‘Excluded’, which only features the voices and stories of young people with lived and learned experience of exclusion in some way. Some of the young people had been temporarily excluded, some permanently, some had never been excluded – but we felt compelled by Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to give them all a voice. Read more

The County Lines Were Not In Quarantine
The County Lines Were Not In Quarantine

Despite the arrival of the vaccine giving us some light at the end of the tunnel, worries about jobs, health and finances prevail as we enter what will undoubtedly be an uncertain period post-lockdown. The people St Giles supports were keenly feeling these worries and the advent of Covid exacerbated them further. Clients we had previously successfully supported into stable homes and employment returned to us once more as they become laid off as a result of the lockdown. Financial worries and mental health issues soared. Some of our caseloads trebled overnight. Read more

What’s the difference between exclusion and persistent absence?
What’s the difference between exclusion and persistent absence?

Square Peg refers to  ‘barriers to attendance’ which includes both persistent absence, ‘truancy’ and exclusion under that banner. All are a response to unmet need; a form of communication through what is often the only vehicle children have to express distress – behaviour, and withdrawal or anger. It’s also the same fight/flight/flop-drop/fawn responses we see in children exposed to toxic stress (trauma). Read more

Building Blocks: inclusion in the Foundation Phase
Building Blocks: inclusion in the Foundation Phase

In 2018 a parent called the office of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales about their six-year-old child, who had been excluded from school for physically aggressive behaviour. At the point of the call the child was not accessing any education, and there was a dispute between the school and local authority about whether it was appropriate for the child to return to the school.   Read more