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Data on permanent exclusions and suspensions reveals rates for children with SEN is five times higher

29 Jul 2022|11:45

The government have released the data on permanent exclusions and suspensions for the academic year 2020-2021. Overall, permanent exclusions have reduced however just under 4,000 children were permanently excluded considering most children were not in education settings at the time due to the pandemic. Regarding suspensions, the number rose considerably by over 40,000 to a total of over 350,000 suspensions. Delving deeper into the data the situation appears to be much worse and disproportionately discriminatory to sections of the cohort. The headline figures show that pupils of the following classifications had much higher rates of suspension and exclusion in comparison to their peers.

  • Pupils identified as Free School Meals (FSM) their rate of suspension and exclusion was four times higher 
  • Students with an EHC plan had a rate of suspension and exclusion that was double 
  • Students identified as SEN support had a rate of suspension and exclusion five times higher
  • Gypsy/Roma pupils rate of suspension and exclusion was six times higher
  • Mixed White and Black Caribbean permanent exclusion rates were four times higher

Across the regions there is a huge disparity in the rates of exclusions and suspensions with the highest exclusion rates being in the North East, which is four times higher than the South East for permanent exclusions and more than double the suspension rate than the lowest region, Outer London.
It is important to ask questions regarding the reasons leading to the data e.g. what is not working for the pupils concerned and how can we build a more inclusive and supportive environment for pupils to succeed.