Students are expected to comply with a set of rules that regulate interactions in the learning environment. In this case, any bad behavior, such as disrespecting other students or instructors, attracts the institution’s punishment. Fixed-term exclusions are some of the consequences imposed on students who fail to uphold the outlined behavior standards in the learning environment. Notably, the headteacher issues fixed-term exclusions after establishing that a student cannot fit in the institution because of their bad behavior. The affected student is exempted from attending school for a specified duration, during which parents are expected to engage their children to streamline their behavior. Students from a specific population group were the most affected by the fixed-term exclusions in Preston Manor School, compelling the institution to review its approach towards the punishment. Therefore, effective policy formulation enables learning institutions to develop inclusive outcomes that enhance the quality of education offered to students and expose them to opportunities that mold them into responsible citizens.
The Preston Manor School identified that Somali and African-Caribbean students were the most affected by the institution’s fixed-term exclusions. In 2011, 45 students out of the 122 learners given fixed-term exclusions were from the Somali and African-Caribbean community groups (Jackson & Berkeley, 2020). Fixed-term exclusions harm a student’s learning capacity because of the time taken to catch up with the rest of the class on a broad spectrum of learning courses. In the same vein, punishment has a mental impact on the affected students because of the students’ inability to connect with the outside world. Facing retribution at school and home can worsen the situation, where the student may develop a different perspective towards life. However, imposing racial discrimination on the punishment’s issuance has a far-reaching impact on the student’s nature of interactions with other people. Since the outcome would taint the institution’s image, the school’s authority sought to find a way of correcting the practice. Through the Public Sector Equality Duty compliance, the institution aimed to reduce the fixed-term exclusion among the Somalis and African-Caribbean students by 40%.
The Preston Manor School’s decision was a well-timed decision that demonstrated the institution’s intention to produce responsible students who can respond to the community’s issues. Having identified the problem, the school’s administration aligned its response with the equality concepts where the affected student population would be exposed to an enabling environment that could change their perspectives towards life. While the Preston Manor School’s main objective was to reduce the high rate of exclusions amongst the Somali and African-Caribbean students, it also projected a long-term commitment that would change the school’s perspective towards the punishment (Demie, 2019). Notably, the school’s administration anticipated an overall reduction in fixed-term exclusion cases from all students because of the impact of the learning institution’s direction. Likewise, the proposed directive would create an enabling environment where students would experience the result of complying with regulations by learning from the corporate world.
The launch of the Black Boys Council (BBC) demonstrated the school’s approach in reducing the fixed-term exclusions among the Somali’s and African-Caribbean students in the learning environment. The BBC’s composition was made up of successful black students and their unsuccessful peers who were at the risk of facing the exclusions. BBC’s objective was to expose the affected students to successful black men from established corporations such as KPMG, Deloitte, Ernst & Young. In the school’s business training day, BBC was allocated a budget and given the freedom to make independent decisions on how the money would be spent. Importantly, students within the BBC were peer leaders who were expected to use their influence to encourage other learners about the importance of adhering to the school’s discipline standards. From this regard, students from the Somali and African-Caribbean backgrounds would listen to their peers and emulate their behavior, which led to a reduction in their exclusions.
Alternative Solutions to the Case
Many critics of fixed-term exclusions focus on the strategy’s ineffectiveness by citing the subsequent involvement of students in destructive behavior. Importantly, learning institutions should develop whole-school thinking that exposes the administration to a range of vices that affect their ability to comply with the recommended behavior standards. In this case, the school head should ensure that different learning environment components are coherent to create a homogenous context that supports learning (Parsons, 2018). Since the problem at Preston Manor School appeared to affect students of Somali and African-Caribbean descend, the administration would have developed an understanding that highlights the significance of compliance in the corporate world. Notably, creating a supportive class environment encourages students to focus on achieving the expected learning objectives and incorporating them into their moral compass (Kay & Middleton, 2020). A supportive class environment builds a culture of responsibility where students understand the impact of their actions and contribute to other students’ development in their surroundings.
The Preston Manor School can prioritize professional learning and staff development where instructors are made aware of the approaches they should use when interacting with students from different backgrounds. On many occasions, international students encounter difficulties adapting to the new learning environment because of their perspectives towards life. In this regard, teachers should be willing to help students adjust to the new environment by offering coping insights and mechanisms that enhance their learning experience. Likewise, instructors should maintain the same energy when interacting with domestic students to avoid creating a rivalry between the two student groups. In the same vein, staff members should be aware of the importance of mental health education and how it can affect learning within the institution (Parsons, 2018). By examining students’ overall well-being and exposing them to conducive learning, the setting is one of the approaches that Preston Manor School can adopt to regulate the frequency of issuing fixed-term exclusions to domestic and international students.
Effective policy formulation enables learning institutions to develop inclusive outcomes that enhance the quality of education offered to students and expose them to opportunities that mold them into responsible citizens. Students from Somali and African-Caribbean backgrounds were the most affected by the fixed-term exclusions compelling the institution to review its approach towards the punishment at the Preston Manor School. The consequence is issued to learners who fail to meet the school’s behavior students when interacting with their peers and instructors, among other individuals in the learning environment. By adopting the Black Boys Council (BBC), the school demonstrated its intent to streamline the affected students to become responsible individuals within the school and beyond. However, the institution could have developed whole-school thinking that would extend beyond students of Somali and African-Caribbean descend.
Demie, F. (2019). The experience of Black Caribbean pupils in school exclusion in England. Educational Review, 1-16.
Jackson, E., & Berkeley, A. (Eds.). (2020). Sustaining depth and meaning in school leadership: Keeping your head. Routledge.
Kay, L., & Middleton, T. (2020). Inclusion and school exclusion–Key Issues for SENCos in England.
Parsons, C. (2018). Looking for strategic alternatives to school exclusion. In The Palgrave International Handbook of School Discipline, Surveillance, and Social Control (pp. 529-552). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Parsons, C. (2018, August). The continuing school exclusion scandal in England. In FORUM: for promoting 3-19 comprehensive education (Vol. 60, No. 2, pp. 245-254). Symposium Books Ltd.
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