The Government has announced an externally led review of school exclusions to assess why some children are more likely to be excluded than others.
Children who face challenges in mainstream school, such as those with special educational needs (SEN), are less likely to be in education, employment or training once they have passed the age of 16.
In order to tackle this inequality, the education secretary Damian Hinds has launched a review of exclusions, led by former children’s minister Edward Timpson, focusing on how the use and levels of exclusions vary from school to school.
The review will particularly focus on those children who are more likely to be excluded, i.e. those facing challenges such as autism.
The minister also announced a £4m Alternative Provision Innovation Fund to develop projects that support children back into mainstream or special schools, as well as encouraging parental and carer involvement in the education of their child.
‘Children only get one chance at their education and they deserve the best,’ said Mr Hinds.
‘But for too many children – and often those who are most vulnerable – there are inconsistencies when it comes to their experiences of school and too many parents are left worried and concerned.
‘That’s not good enough which is why we are going to improve our understanding of these important issues and tackle them head on.’
Commenting on the review, Mr Timpson said: ‘This review provides a real opportunity to fully understand what drives the different rates of exclusion in our schools system and the impact it has on the outcomes of children involved.
‘I intend to draw from the best possible expertise, knowledge and evidence of what works in the field to ensure the review can help address the clear disparities and variability that still exists in the practice, impact and experience around exclusions, starting with an open ‘Call for Evidence’ I am launching today.’