Presented by Chloe Weaver (Trainee Educational Psychologist, Cardiff University)

A reduced timetable restricts a child’s access to a full-time curriculum. In Wales, there is currently no statutory basis or legal processes upon which to establish a reduced timetable. Previous literature suggests that whilst reduced timetables are sometimes used for pupils with medical needs, they are more often used for pupils experiencing behavioural challenges. The approach is described as a worrying and possibly frequent means of quasi-exclusion that may be used as a product of the inclusion agenda, which can pressure schools into practices as a means to avoid formal exclusions.

The present study explored the current use and maintenance of reduced timetables across Wales for young people who express emotions with outward behaviour. A mixed methods design was adopted to understand the application of reduced timetables. To understand their use nationally, a questionnaire was distributed across local authorities in Wales. The experience of supporting a young person on a reduced timetable was explored by interviewing practitioners who work with them. Themes developed consider the needs of young people on reduced timetables, how they are used across schools, and the impact they have on young people, their families, and school staff. Implications are discussed in relation to schools, local authorities, Welsh Government, and Educational Psychologists.

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