Exclusions gathering momentum


The rate of exclusions seems to be gathering speed according to data from the DfE and the TES.

In the year 2015/16 6,700 children were excluded permanently by schools according to the annual report from the DfE . This is an increase of almost 1000 over the previous year – up from 5,795 in 2014/15 to 6,685 – which is the equivalent of 35.2 exclusions a day, up from an average of 30.5.

The number of temporary or fixed-period exclusions has gone up from almost 303,000 last year to just under 340,000, with increases in both primary and secondary schools.

There was an increase in the proportion of children temporarily excluded in every age group other than among 17-year-olds. However, the rate of exclusion among those aged four and under grew at a faster rate than any other age category, rising from 2,350 in 2014-15 to 3,035 last year.

The DfE Figures show that almost 25,000 children aged seven or under were temporarily excluded from primary school in 2015/16. More than 15,000 fixed-period exclusions in primary school were for physical assault against an adult. The average length of a fixed suspension was 2.2 days.

A survey from the TES suggests that rates of permanent exclusions this year are seriously outpacing these figures, with 12 responding  authorities suggesting rates have doubled in the year 2016/2017. One local authority, Slough, reported a 340 per cent increase.

Some of the causes pinpointed in the survey are the likelihood of academies expelling more pupils after a change of status, a loss of support staff and growing disengagement with a narrowing EBacc focused curriculum.

However, little explanation has been offered for the very rapid rise in children under 7 being permanently and temporarily excluded and the large number of physical assaults being given as the main cause of this.

October 2017

School Leadership Today