The Government has been advised to make schools responsible for the education of pupils who have been permanently excluded.

In his review of school exclusion, Edward Timpson also calls for schools to commission alternative provision (AP) where a child who has been excluded needs such help.

“No parent sends their child off to school believing they will end up being excluded but, when this does happen, we all need to be confident we have a well-functioning system that makes sure no child slips through the net,” Mr Timpson said.

Exclusion from school should never mean exclusion from education, he stressed, as new statistics show that 78% of pupils who are permanently excluded either have special educational needs (SEN), are classified as in need or are eligible for free school meals.

The Timpson Review makes 30 recommendations and concludes that action is needed to ensure that permanent exclusions are only used as a last resort.

Although 85% of mainstream schools did not expel any children in 2016/17, research has found that 0.2% of schools expelled more than 10 pupils over the same period.

Boys with social, emotional and mental health difficulties (SEMH) but no statement were 3.8 times more likely to be permanently excluded than a non-SEN child; girls were some 3.0 times more likely to be excluded.

Commenting on the report, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Too many children can fall through the cracks, so I want schools to be accountable for the pupils they exclude, alongside tackling the practice of illegal off-rolling.”

An official consultation on managing exclusions is to be launched later this year, the Department for Education (DfE) confirmed.

The “Timpson review of school exclusion” can be found here.

Last reviewed 10 June 2019