A REVIEW of “alternative school provision” in Bradford will look at the the potential harm that can be done by removing young people from school.

Bradford Council’s Children’s Service’s Scrutiny Committee has discussed what will be covered during the review, and one member said it was important to make sure no Bradford children were being taught in “grubby,” unregistered places of learning.

The Committee agreed to a scrutiny review of Alternative School Provision - where children are taught outside the mainstream school system, last year.

On Wednesday they discussed its remit, with members saying they would likely summon representatives from schools, academies and even West Yorkshire Police.

Row over how Council deals with 'off rolling' at local schools

It would look at issues like unregistered schools, home schooling, exclusions and the issue of “off-rolling” - where schools encourage parents to remove children from the school system.

Councillor David Ward (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe) has been calling for such a review for over a year, and has spoken to many parents of children who have been removed or excluded from mainstream education.

The review will hold a number if information gathering sessions before publishing a full report to the Council.

Cllr Ward said he had regularly raised the issue of off rolling in Bradford, but was told by Council leaders that with the spread of academies, which do not have to answer to local Councils, there was little they could do. He said one parent he had recently spoken to had seen their child go through four “managed moves” between local schools - which he believed had taken place because no school was willing to take responsibility for the child.

He added: “We need to look at the ‘lost children’ who are not on the system. These children might not be on school rolls and are not identified.”

He said there is a national issue of schools off-rolling “problem” pupils in Year 10 - removing them from their books before GCSE exams in a bid to improve results.

Cllr Ward said it was important the review looks at any difference between numbers of pupils starting Year 10 and finishing their GCSEs in Year 11.

Chair Councillor Mike Gibbons (Cons, Ilkley) said: “This will be a wide ranging review. We’ll be able to request all manner of people to speak to us. The police might have something to say about the issue. We also need to be speaking to legal voices.”

Joyce Simpson, Church of England representative on the Committee, said: “We need to make sure that no children in Bradford that are being home schooled are going to grubby, back street unregistered places of learning. I’m aware of scandals like that in other cities, and I hope there can be some check that such places aren’t operating in our own areas.”

Areas the review will look at include the safeguarding of children who are outside the normal school system and the educational outcomes of children who are in alternative school provision.