difficulties faced by girls are due to them not acting out that much...They are
quieter, they tend to stop attending and they often disengage from school...they
may only come to attention if they turn to bullying." Interview with a
who are excluded from school or have stopped attending are an underestimated
minority. Research for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation points to a widespread
belief among schools that girls 'are not a problem'. This has led to the scale
of exclusion and self-exclusion going unrecognised and the particular needs of
disaffected girls being inadequately met.
new study finds that girls are seldom seen as a priority in the way that schools
and local education authorities (LEAs) apply their behaviour and exclusion
policies. The strong focus on conduct problems among boys means that the help
available for girls who get into difficulties is often poorly resourced and
figures show that nationally girls represent just 17 per cent of permanent
exclusions from school - around 1,800 a year. But many more girls are removed
from class informally or for fixed periods. And the study points to an even less
visible group of vulnerable girls who exclude themselves from regular school
attendance, often as a result of bullying.
from the Centre for Citizenship Studies in Education at the University of
Leicester and the New Policy Institute carried out focus groups and in-depth
interviews with girls of secondary-school age. They also spoke to parents,
teachers and other staff working in three contrasted LEA areas. They found that:
Audrey Osler, co-author of the report, said: "Support for vulnerable girls
will help to avoid school exclusion which often leads to long-term social
exclusion in adulthood. Yet there appears to be relatively little consideration
of how the pastoral support provided by schools and LEAs is meeting the specific
needs of girls. While in principle girls and boys have equal access to support
and educational alternatives, resources for disaffected pupils are largely
directed towards boys."
Cathy Street, co-author of the report, said: "Multi-agency working is
crucial if the more subtle difficulties presented by girls are to be identified
and addressed. Education and child and adolescent mental health services need to
work more effectively together. There are still difficulties with these
providers assuming that the other has responsibility, leaving young women adrift
from appropriate support."
Note to Editors
a problem? Girls and school exclusion by Audrey Osler, Cathy Street, Marie Lall
and Kerry Vincent is published for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation by the
National Children's Bureau, 8 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7QE (020-7843 6000)
price £12.95 plus £3.00 p&p. A summary of findings from the report is
available, free, from JRF, The Homestead, 40 Water End, York YO30 6WP or
study will be launched at 10.30 for 11am on Wednesday 9th January 2002 Royal
Society, 6 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1. Members of the press are welcome
For further information, contact
Audrey Osler (author) 0116-252 3680 (office)
Street (author) 020 7721 8421(office)
by David Utting, JRF Head of Media Relations, 020-7278 9665 / 01727 762855/
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