With over 6,000 parents experiencing their children being excluded from school in 2015-16, Edward Timpson CBE, the former Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, is launching a review into why so many exclusions are taking place.
Writing in The Telegraph, Mr Timpson outlines his plans for the review commissioned by the Department for Education. With specific geographical locations showing a higher rate of exclusions than other areas, the review is seeking to explain why there is such a variation. Mr Timpson is also keen to establish why the data differs for certain groups of children.
He explained: ‘As the Government’s Race Disparity Audit revealed, for some groups of children, including black Caribbean and Gypsy Roma and Traveller children, those with special educational needs, pupils eligible for free school meals, children in need and those in care, the rates of exclusion are much higher.’
Mr Timpson will be looking at how schools and external providers are supporting each other to prevent exclusions. He added, ‘we need to establish how schools and supporting agencies work together in relation to exclusions and whether (or not) it is effective in improving outcomes for those children.’
The review has started with a ‘Call for Evidence’, whereby Mr Timpson has invited anyone with experience of exclusions to share their experiences.
John Bishop, Managing Director for Evolve, welcomes the review: ‘It is reassuring that this area of our education system is finally receiving the attention it deserves. Pupils involved are often victims of trauma that have affected their early development and they need our help. It is in everyone’s interest to support these children because of the alarming statistics showing the cost to society of this growing cohort.
We encourage this review to focus on the causes of behaviour that leads to exclusions and not just the process of managing children who need more personalised support than most mainstream schools are currently able to provide. Evolve has been working in this space for over 10 years to address the emotional, physical and cognitive needs of all pupils to ensure that they are ready to learn and eventually make a positive contribution to society.’