IntegratED, a coalition of 19 partner organisations, has recently released its 2020 Report about school exclusion. Bringing together the latest data and research, IntegratED shines a light on a much overlooked and neglected area of social policy.
In over 70 pages this ‘State of the Nation’ study reveals a number of emerging trends in fixed-term and permanent school exclusions that are likely to be of even greater significance as we move out of the current global pandemic. Essential reading for all those passionately concerned about the personal and societal impact of school exclusion in its various forms, the document sets out several headline statistics:
Last year in England:
- 7,894 pupils were permanently excluded from school – think of that as being the equivalent of the total number of students attending EIGHT typical secondary schools in any of our big cities.
- There were 438,265 cases of fixed-term exclusion, affecting nearly 200,000 pupils. That’s over three times the capacity of the Emirates Stadium!
- 939,878 days of education were lost due to fixed term exclusion: very nearly one million daysor put another way 2,740 years of lost education!
How things have changed:
- While the rate of permanent exclusions has levelled out in the last couple of years, the rate of fixed-term exclusions has been steadily rising.
- Multiple fixed-term exclusions (when a student is excluded more than once) has more than doubled in the last two years (from 24.4 to 53.6 – both per 1,000 pupils)
- 85% of exclusions take place in secondary schools.
- Students who experience a permanent exclusion are more likely than their peers to be
- Black Caribbean or White and Black Caribbean
- Gypsy/Roma or Traveller of Irish Heritage
- Equally, those permanently excluded are more likely to
- Be on SEN (Special Educational Needs) support
- Have an education, health and care plan (EHCP)
- Have SEN with SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) primary need
- Be eligible for free school meals
What’s being done?
Lots, but not nearly enough, a fact to which the continued growth in fixed-term exclusions testifies. Only 4 out of 30 recommendations from the Government commissioned Timpson Review published in 2019 to improve the issue of school exclusion have been implemented.
Charities such as FBB work tirelessly with their young people and make a huge difference to those reached. But the scale of the problem throughout the country is beyond the charity sector to tackle by itself. Continued RECOGNITION and ACTION at Government level, always a priority in this field of education, is now more pressing than ever before. Covid-19, with all its related social consequences, has seen to that.
The IntegratED partnership’s goal is ‘Fewer exclusions. Better alternative provision’. The partnership’s commendable commitment, amongst many other things, to producing essential in-depth research, and co-ordinating effective lobbying of Government, represents an enormous contribution in a repeatedly neglected area of social policy.
Quite apart from the dire personal consequences of exclusion, each permanently excluded student is estimated to cost the state £370,000 in lifetime education, benefits, healthcare, and criminal justice costs.
Nobody’s interests are served by the current system of exclusion.
FBB welcomes the initiative in the IntegratED report.. Having an organisation of IntegratED’s breadth and competence active in influential Government circles is greatly reassuring for those of us involved daily in developing some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities.
FBB’s Co-CEO Jack Reynolds commented:
‘The amount of research underpinning IntegratED’s findings is amazing. The data have been very professionally compiled and are presented in an easy- to- follow way. Work like this is of enormous value to those of us who are passionate about supporting young people, but who haven’t the time or resources to keep abreast of all the trends in school exclusion that affect the work that we do. IntegratED’s report will inform many of FBB’s 2021 plans for improving our programmes. Crucially it will also help us decide how best to go about extending our reach to ever more vulnerable young people.’
To access the full report, go to: