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Where to put the excluded?

Where to put the excluded?

I see you will be “pushing for something that isn’t often the focus of dinner party debate”: alternative provision, especially for children who have been or are at risk of being expelled from mainstream schools. Your solution for this is a “new wave” of free schools.

As I write, I’m aware you’re not in a position to “push” for anything because parliament isn’t sitting and you are part of a minority government. I’m also not sure what dinner parties have to do with the matter. Perhaps they are a way of flagging up that you are in a government that is on the side of the people against some obnoxious dinner-partying elite.

Your focus on exclusions caught my eye, because in March I read a report from the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) that showed “there is a significant increase in pupil referral unit admissions in the first term of year 11”. As year 11 is when students take GCSEs, this statistic suggests some schools might be removing students just prior to their sitting these exams. Could it be that some schools improve their GCSE scores by shedding pupils? Clearly, if we have a school system that is judged primarily on its exam scores, the pressure on schools to exclude pupils is high.

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