2016-17 exclusions data released

News - 19 Jul 2018

The national data on permanent and fixed period exclusions has been published today (19th July) - there has been a further increase in both, and children and young people with SEND still make up a disproportionate number of all exclusions.

Total exclusions

Permanent exclusions:       2015-16 = 0.08% (6,685) of all enrolments

                                           2016-17 = 0.10% (7,720) of all enrolments 

This is an approximately 15% increase (these figures include the fact that there has been a decrease in permanent exclusions in special schools).

Fixed period exclusions:    2015-16 = 4.29% (339,360) of all enrolments

                                           2016-17 = 4.76% (381,865) of all enrolments

This is an increase of approximately 13%.

To put this into context using more manageable numbers, this means that there were over 40 permanent and over 2,000 fixed period exclusions every school day.

'Persistent disruptive behaviour' was still the main reason cited for exclusions and has seen one of the biggest increases. It accounts for 35.7% of all permanent exclusions and 28.4% of all fixed period exclusions.


Exclusions of pupils with SEND

Pupils with SEN account for nearly half of all permanent (46.7%) and fixed period (44.9%) exclusions.

Pupils on SEN Support have the highest rate of permanent exclusions - 6 times higher than for pupils with no SEND.

Pupils with Statements or EHC Plans have the highest rate of fixed term exclusions - 5 times higher than for pupils with no SEND.

The rate of permanent exclusions from Pupil Referral Units has decreased, from 0.14% to 0.13%.


Permanent exclusions by primary need:

SEMH                  2,030

MLD                       465

SpLD                      295

SLCN                     200

ASD                       125

(Total SEN          3,605)


Fixed period exclusions by primary need:

SEMH              86,560

MLD                27,210

SpLD                15,070

SLCN               12,070

ASD                 10,365

(Total SEN     171,580)


Other interesting figures include: the rate of fixed period exclusions in secondary sponsored academies is nearly twice as high as in maintained secondary schools; there is a seemingly direct relationship between the level of deprivation of a mainstream school and the number of exclusions (with numbers decreasing as schools are less deprived) - this is not so clearly the case for special schools.


What does this mean?

The data prompts many questions, including:

  • Why are so many pupils with SEND being excluded? This implies that their needs are not being met.
  • Why are so many pupils with SEMH being excluded? This implies that they are being excluded because of their SEND
  • Are sponsored academies using more 'zero tolerance' approaches, resulting in higher levels of exclusion?
  • These are just the official figures - what about 'unofficial' exclusions, off-rolling, 'elective' home educations etc? This is likely to be the tip of the iceberg.
  • Where are the 40 pupils being permanently excluded every school day going? Are their needs being met here?

We await the outcome of the Review of Exclusions currently being carried out by Edward Timpson and which is due to report at the end of the year - it is to be hoped that this will address theses questions amongst others, and provide some recommendations for implementation.

Related resources

  • Supporting SEN Scaffolding

    18 Jul 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only

  • What is...DME?

    08 May 2019 Silver AND Gold Member Only

    What is…DME? is a short information document that summarises some key ideas related to Dual and Multiple Exceptionality.

  • National SEND update

    Information - 18 Apr 2019 Gold Member Only

    A useful presentation that will look at current SEND policy and statistics.