Review of exclusions.
Review of exclusions.
In March 2018, I was commissioned to review school exclusion by the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP.
1 This followed the Prime Minister’s announcement that the government would commission a review of exclusion practice, to explore how head teachers use exclusion in practice, and why some groups of pupils are more likely to be excluded.2
I am grateful to all those who have taken the time to contribute to this review, including nearly 1,000 people who responded to my call for evidence, and over 100 organisations and individuals I visited or met with, including schools, local authorities, parents, carers and children. I want also to thank experts from across the education system, school and local authority leaders, and other practitioners who advised me as part of my reference group; the teacher and head teacher unions; Anne Longfield OBE, the Children’s Commissioner for England; and Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, among others, all of whom have shared with me their insight, reflections and proposals. Their collective input has ensured this report incorporates not only my own views, but also the expertise and experience of those working in our schools and with children and their families.
Schools must be calm and safe places, and it is right that we fully support head teachers in using exclusion where this is appropriate. Head teachers considering exclusion have a tough choice to make, having to weigh the profound implications that it can have on a young person’s life with the interests and needs of pupils and staff in the wider school community. We must support school leaders in this difficult task, whilst making sure no child gets left behind.
My review has identified excellent practice across the school system. However, it has also found too much variation in exclusion practice and concludes there is more we can do to ensure that every exclusion is lawful, reasonable and fair; and that permanent exclusion is always a last resort, used only where nothing else will do.
In response, I have made a number of recommendations that seek to ensure that exclusion is used consistently and appropriately, and that enable our schools system to create the best possible conditions for
every child to thrive and progress. After all, that is what teachers, parents and children themselves tell me they want too.
Edward Timpson CBE May 2019
Read the full review.