Timpson Review of School Exclusion published
In March 2018 Edward Timpson CBE was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Education, Damien Hinds MP, to review school exclusion. Published today, it has identified excellent practice across the school system but has found too much variation in exclusion practice. It concludes that there is more we can do to ensure that every exclusion is lawful, reasonable and fair and that permanent exclusion is used always as a last resort.
0.1% of 8 million children in schools in England were permanently excluded in 2016/17 (an average of 40 every day). A further average of 2,000 pupils are excluded for a fixed period each day. Almost two thirds of teachers are currently considering, or have previously considered, leaving the profession because of poor behaviour. There were 745 permanent exclusions and 26,695 fixed period exclusions for physical assault against an adult in 2016/17.
This review explores how head teachers use exclusion in practice and why some groups of children are more likely to be excluded, including children in need, those with Special Educational Needs, children who have been supported by social care, are eligible for free school meals or are from particular ethnic groups.
The review covers the need for effective behaviour management in schools and to understand and respond to individual children. Outcomes of excluded children are often poor- in 2015/16 7% of children who were permanently excluded and 18% of children who received multiple fixed period exclusions went on to achieve good passes in GCSE English and maths. Overall, children who are educated in alternative provision do much worse than their peers. Just 4.5% of pupils educated in AP achieve good passes in GCSE English and maths.
78% of permanent exclusions issued were to pupils who either had SEN, were classified as in need or were eligible for free school meals (11% of pupils had all three characteristics).
Growing concerns about 'off-rolling' have been raised. It was discovered that there are children who are made to leave their school and removed from the school role without a formal permanent exclusion or by the school encouraging the parents to remove their child from the school, which is done in the school's interests and at the school's request.
The review makes 30 recommendations, which include:
1. The DfE should update statutory guidance on exclusion to provide more clarity on the use of exclusion and ensure all relevant , overlapping guidance is clear, accessible and consistant in its messages.
2. To support the school workforce to have the knowledge and skills they need to manage behaviour and meet pupil needs.
3. Ofsted should recognise those who use exclusion appropriately and effectively, permanently excluding in the most serious cases or where stategies to avoid exclusion have failed.
4. The DfE must take steps to ensure there is sufficient oversight and monitoring of schools' use of AP, and should require schools to submit information on their use of off-site direction into AP through the school census.
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