A CONSULTATION has been launched to gather views on Dudley Council's draft proposals to reduce the number of exclusions in borough schools.

The council's Wider Inclusion Strategy lists 14 proposals to reduce the number of exclusions and 'off-rolling', where pupils are taken off the school register, in the borough.

Council chiefs say the proposals offer more support for pupils facing exclusion to remain in mainstream education or to be able to access high quality alternative provision if that is not possible.

Pupils will receive better support for their special educational needs or disabilities under the plans, as well as help if problems at school are linked to a troubled home life.

Councillor Ruth Buttery, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "We know that if a child is excluded from school they are less likely to move on to further education, training or employment, and more likely to go down a negative life path.

"We need work more with families and schools at an earlier point so that support is there for vulnerable children and young people.

"We want to be in a place where pupil exclusion is only ever seen as a last resort - we want all of our children and young people to have the opportunities to succeed."

People can share their views, and read the document in full, at www.dudley.gov.uk/widerinclusion

Preliminary discussions with headteachers, governors, parents, officers has taken place ahead of the consultation being opened to the public.

The deadline for feedback closes on Friday July 19.