Disruptive boy allowed back into school

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The Independent Online
A compromise deal was drawn up yesterday to allow a disruptive schoolboy back into the Nottingham school from which he was expelled. Teachers at Glaisdale School, Nottingham, have voted to strike indefinitely if Richard Wilding, 13, is allowed back into mainstream classes.

The headteacher, David Higgins, will today urge teaching staff at the school to accept an agreement that the boy should stay at the school - but with more specialised support. Teachers' representatives are still considering a strike from Friday.

Richard was expelled from the school after a history of violent incidents. Since the beginning of term, he has been taught on his own by the school's head and one other teacher. His parents appealed against his expulsion to a local authority panel, who ordered that he should be returned to the school.

That prompted a strike vote by 20 members of the National Association of Schoolmasters/ Union of Women Teachers at Glaisdale School.

They claimed that the boy was unteachable, a threat to them and to other pupils. But the appeals panel decision has legal status.

Yesterday, after a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with the boy's parents and the headteacher, local authority representatives said that they had reached an agreement.

In an agreed joint statement between the parties Mr and Mrs Wilding's solicitor, Hilary Freeman, said: "Following a very constructive meeting between Mr and Mrs Wilding, Mr Higgins, the headteacher, and officers of the education committee, agreement has been reached for Richard's future education to take place partly at Glaisdale School, which will eventually lead to reintegration into classes at Glaisdale."

An education authority spokesman said that the special arrangements would not involve the boy being taught by any of its existing teachers, or in a mainstream class.

The general secretary of the NASUWT, Nigel de Gruchy, said that was bound to give his members "cause for concern". But he was unwilling to be drawn on the prospects for strike action going ahead before talking in detail to both the local authority and his own local officers.

"We have to study this in detail. At the moment it's not very promising. But we obviously have to talk to the local authority," Mr de Gruchy said.

Leading article, page 16

School dispute, page 5

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