Teachers struggle to cope with a hyperactive 13-year-old

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The Independent Online
SEAN Nethercoat, who is 13 today, was first excluded from primary school when he was 10. Since then he has had only two terms in school. He attended two comprehensives but both said they could not cope with him, writes Judith Judd.

Pat Nethercoat, his mother, from Maldon, Essex, said: 'He is hyperactive, fidgets, calls out, drops pencils and distracts other pupils. It is very difficult for teachers to deal with in a large class. They are very stressed and they don't want extra trouble so they are excluding all sorts of children.'

Sean was excluded from his first comprehensive after just over a term.

At Easter this year, the family received a 'statement' from the local authority, Essex County Council, saying that Sean should receive extra help for learning difficulties. A second school agreed to take him.

However, the authority said it could afford only part of the help which the school said it needed and, after nine weeks, Sean was excluded. After his exclusion from the first comprehensive, he received just an hour and a half home tuition a day but since the second, a month ago, he has had no teaching.

Mrs Nethercoat said Sean's reports from his home tuition lessons were good and she believed he could cope well in a small class and calm environment.

She said: 'We feel we are banging our heads against a brick wall in finding a school for Sean. If schools want to exclude a child they can. He has gone into a downward spiral because he has been out of school so long. It is very distressing.'