REDUCED school timetables are often seen as a negative, but one mum has said they’ve been a big help for her daughter.

Part-time or reduced timetables are meant to be used as a short-term solution to improve things for a child and can be used as a way of managing a pupil’s additional support needs.

Fifteen-year-old Niamh Preece’s mother Jane, said going on the reduced timetables has been a massive benefit for her daughter.

“She’s got Asperger’s,” Ms Preece said. “She can’t cope with a lot of people. She was leaving lessons or leaving the school grounds.

“I spoke to them and asked them if we could try it.

“It was going to be three weeks at first. I was adamant that if she goes on it, she should stay on it, otherwise it is a lot of change.

“But it has been two years now and it’s helped her so much.”

Niamh still has to go to school, but now only goes to five subjects maths, English, science, art and Welsh BAC.

“She’s quite settled now; we have never had that before,” Ms Preece said. “Before I would have the school on the phone two, three, four times a day.

“If she had a bad day, we used to have hell at home but we don’t really get that any more.

“Being on a reduced timetable, it has worked out really well for the school, for the child. It’s nothing but positive.”

Ms Preece praised the engagement officer at the school, who keeps her up to date with how things are going, “you have got to have a good relationship with the school."

She said: “She’s pretty clued up on what she wants to do after school. She wants to be a tattoo artist. In the past, her grades suffered. Now she’s predicted As and A*s. She wants to go to art college in Carmarthen then go into an apprenticeship.”

Tivyside Advertiser:

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Pembrokeshire County council revealed a huge increase in the number of pupils being placed on part-time timetables over the last four years, with 134 in 2015/16, 150 in 2016/17, 155 in 2017/18 and 218 to date in 2018/19.

The request also revealed in 2017/18 11 students had been placed on a reduced timetable for more than a whole academic year and 48 had been placed because of risk of exclusion.

Pembrokeshire County Council said this rise was due to a new recording and monitoring system across all schools.

A spokesperson said: “This process included educational advisory support for schools and the submission of all plans to the local authority.”

More on the FOI can be found here