The number of children excluded from secondary schools in London is increasing.
There were 980 permanent exclusions in 2016/17, compared to 780 in 2013/14.
The London Assembly Education Panel has today released the report ‘Preventing Secondary School Exclusions’ which investigates school exclusions in the capital and why they are going up.
Key findings of the report include:
- The rise in exclusions is partly due to difficulties schools have in dealing with pupils with increasingly complex needs
- Certain demographics of pupils are disproportionally excluded suggesting schools are either failing to support some learners or discipline techniques inadvertently discriminate against some pupils.
- There is growing concern about ‘off-rolling’ – underachieving pupils being excluded to relieve financial pressure or boost school performance rates
Recommendations to the Mayor include:
- Provide help to prevent unnecessary exclusions
- Review the supply of centres that specialises in supporting those at risk of exclusion
- Actively monitor and challenge hidden exclusions
Chair of the Education Panel, Jennette Arnold OBE AM, said:
“All children need a wide range of support systems to bring the best out of them in their academic and extracurricular studies. Reduced support either because of funding or lack of awareness should not be the reason why ultimately pupils end up excluded.
“It’s important that young people get the best start in life. Outside of the home the next place that can happen is in the classroom, so we must make sure they are actually there.
“Young people who have challenging behaviours must not be brushed to the side via hidden exclusions or bare minimum support. Instead, they need even more support than the average pupil.
“We have a duty to these students because letting them down has wide-ranging consequences we need to consider seriously.”