School's plans to build 'prison block' to house troublesome pupils causes outrage
Tudor Grange Academy in Worcester has the second highest expulsion rate in England. In the first year the 720 pupil school was rebranded as an academy in 2009/2010, 15 students were permanently excluded.
It has applied to convert an office block into an 'alternative education' facility which will act as a 'detention wing' two miles from the main school site.
It is estimated that 12 of the worst 'offenders' in the school will be taught core subjects under strict conditions. The pupils will be rewarded for good behaviour with play time, and will be allowed back to join the rest of the school if they prove they are 'rehabilitated'.
A parent of a child at the school, who did not want to be named, said: "The school is basically intending to build a prison block for troublemakers. That's the long and short of it.
"Instead of expelling kids, they will be taught in a separate wing of the school where they will be treated like inmates.
"The school says no formal plans have been made but I have heard it from several teachers that the troublemakers will be rewarded for good behaviour with playtime. The phrase 'rehabilitated' has also been used more than once which shows how the centre will be treated. It's abhorrent that school children, maybe as young as 11, will be treated like criminals."
In a planning application, the school said students would benefit from 'focused intervention appropriate to their learning and social needs', claiming this would make them less likely to be permanently excluded from the academy, as well as more employable later in life.
Under the plans, two on-site teaching staff will give students classes in mathematics, English, art, information technology, cooking and life skills in small groups.
"As a former teacher, I can quite accept that sometimes one disruptive pupil can be a real nuisance to the whole school and you have to give them the best chance of life.
"But a school has to take the rough with the smooth and I'm concerned academies seem to take exceptional concern when they have pupils who need extra attention."
Tudor Grange Academy has not commented on the plans.
What do you make of these reports? Should disruptive children be taught in a 'detention wing' two miles from the main school?