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Increased exclusions: protection for learning?

26 July 2013

Figures from the 2011/12 academic year shows the first rise in permanent exclusions in the primary and secondary sector for many years. 690 primary age and 4390 secondary age pupils were permanently excluded with the majority related to persistent disruptive behaviour or attacks on adults. To put the figures in context, there are currently around 8.2 million pupils in the education system.

These exclusions took place under the old system where reinstatement to the school flowing from an appeal panel decision was an option. From September 2012, the new exclusions framework was implemented where reinstatement by such a panel was no longer available and only governing bodies now have that power. It will be interesting to contrast figures under the new framework for 2012/13 when they become available. In the meantime, arguments will rage over the causes for the increase – local authority cuts to support services or an increased focus within schools on improving learning outcomes for all and dealing with barriers to learning more effectively.

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